Motorsport Week - IndyCar News http://www.motorsportweek.com Catch up on all IndyCar news, here at Motorsport Week RSS Feed! http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16675http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16675Sergio Marchionne says Alfa Romeo could join IndyCar nextSat, 20 Jan 2018 11:27:04 GMT<p>Alfa Romeo will return to Formula 1 this season in a tie-up with the Sauber F1 team as it looks to boost its profile and sell more cars in the future, but its involvement in motorsport might not stop there according to&nbsp;Sergio Marchionne.</p> <p>Marchionne, CEO of Alfa Romeo&#39;s parent company FIAT Chrysler Automobiles, as well as being president of Ferrari, orchestrated the Italian manufacturer&#39;s return to F1 and most recently floated the idea of Maserati &ndash; another FCA brand &ndash; linking up with an existing IndyCar team.</p> <p>However more&nbsp;recently&nbsp;Marchionne has said the idea of Alfa Romeo getting into IndyCar is being thought about, particularly as the brand wants to expand its presence in North America.</p> <p>&ldquo;Why not Alfa Romeo in IndyCar?&rdquo; he asked. &ldquo;We are thinking about it.</p> <p>&quot;Gian Paolo Dallara (designer and supplier of every IndyCar chassis) &ndash;&nbsp;I consider him a great, the best Italian engineer around,&quot; added Marchionne.</p> <p>Meanwhile IndyCar&#39;s&nbsp;president of competition and operations, Jay Frye, confirmed a number of manufactuer&#39;s had expressed an interest in joining the series, but wouldn&#39;t confirm if one of those was Alfa Romeo.</p> <p>&quot;Over the last several months, particularly since our 2017 season ended, we have had numerous meetings with OEMs about the prospects of becoming partners with IndyCar,&quot; he told <em>Motorsport</em>.&nbsp;&quot;We&#39;ve had around 10 of them &ndash; some initial meetings, some follow-ups.</p> <p>&quot;So I can say there&#39;s been a lot of enthusiasm and positive response to that and so we&#39;re very encouraged &ndash; switching back to a universal aerokit has removed a major technical and financial hurdle for any potential OEMs. And so there&#39;s been really good activity and responses.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16650http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16650Leena Gade joins SPM as James Hinchliffe's lead race engineerTue, 16 Jan 2018 11:21:04 GMT<p>Renowned race engineer Leena Gade has joined IndyCar to link with James Hinchcliffe at Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, becoming the first female race engineer in the championship.</p> <p>The British race engineer previously worked in GT racing and junior formula single-seater series before joining the Audi LMP1 team in 2007; in 2011 she became the first female race engineer&nbsp;to triumph at the Le Mans 24 Hours with Andr&eacute;&nbsp;Lotterer,&nbsp;Beno&icirc;t Tr&eacute;yuler and Marcel F&auml;ssler, and a further two victories came for her&nbsp;team at Le Mans in 2012 and 2014.</p> <p>Following on from her second victory at Le Mans, in December 2012 Gade was named FIA World Endurance Series &#39;Man of the Year&#39; and in 2013 she&nbsp;became an ambassador for&nbsp;the FIA Commission for Women&nbsp;in Motorsport.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m really honored that I&rsquo;ve got a chance to come across and work in IndyCar,&rdquo; said Gade. &ldquo;When I was a kid, I used to watch IndyCar, especially when Nigel Mansell first came over, and I followed it quite a lot.</p> <p>&quot;During my sports car days, it was a little less so, until I had friends come across to the US to work in it like Piers [Phillips, General Manager of SPM]. I&rsquo;m quite honored to be given the chance. It is going to be something completely different to anything I&rsquo;ve ever done before, so it&rsquo;s a big learning curve, but it&rsquo;s a challenge that I&rsquo;m really relishing, so I&rsquo;m looking forward to it.&quot;</p> <p>SPM General Manager Piers Phillips added, &quot;There was significant interest in Leena amongst the international motorsports community, so we&rsquo;re really excited that she sees where we&rsquo;re taking SPM, believes in what we&rsquo;re doing and that she is now a part of our organization.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;ve known Leena for quite some time now, and I&rsquo;ve worked alongside her, so I knew the credit she&rsquo;s been given is well deserved. We&rsquo;re very much looking forward to throwing her into the deep end and seeing her add to the team&rsquo;s success.&quot;</p> <p>The next IndyCar test is at Sebring Raceway on January 24.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16626http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16626Harding confirms full-time IndyCar 2018 entry for Gabby ChavesFri, 12 Jan 2018 18:39:37 GMT<p>Harding Racing has formally confirmed its full-time graduation to the IndyCar Series for 2018, with Gabby Chaves set to pilot its No 88 car<span style="font-size:9.0pt;line-height:115%; font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; color:black;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language: AR-SA">.</span></p> <p>Harding made its IndyCar bow at the 2017 Indianapolis 500 with Chaves, placing ninth, and made further outings at oval events at Texas and Pocono<span style="font-size:9.0pt;line-height:115%; font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; color:black;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language: AR-SA">.</span></p> <p>For Chaves, meanwhile, it represents a return to full-time competition, having compete only partial campaigns for Dale Coyne and Harding since his 2015 campaign with Bryan Herta<span style="font-size:9.0pt;line-height:115%; font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; color:black;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language: AR-SA">.</span></p> <p>&ldquo;I really can&rsquo;t begin to express how happy and excited I am to get back on track full-time with Harding Racing.&rdquo; said Chaves.</p> <p>&ldquo;We built a really strong team in a very short amount of time in 2017.&nbsp;I&rsquo;m looking forward to building on that and will be excited to see what our new team members will be able to do to take us to the next level.</p> <p>&ldquo;Most of all, I&rsquo;d like to thank Mike Harding for believing in my potential and for giving me this opportunity. I can&rsquo;t wait to see what we can do and believe we can have a lot of success together.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16581http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16581Fernando Alonso targeting Indy 500 return in 2019Sat, 06 Jan 2018 11:47:10 GMT<p>Fernando Alonso says he is targeting a return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2019 following his semi-successful debut in 2017 where he led before his retirement.</p> <p>The Spaniard skipped the Monaco Grand Prix with permission from his McLaren team to compete in the 101st running of the&nbsp;Indianapolis 500 with a special one-car McLaren-Andretti entry. Alonso qualified fifth for the race and led for parts before retiring on lap 179 with a Honda engine failure.</p> <p>Alonso will not compete this year, instead opting to race at the 24 Hours of Daytona with United Autosports, while an outing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Toyota has been mooted, but is eyeing an Indy 500 comeback in 2019.</p> <p>&quot;The main focus and priority is Formula 1 and winning a third world championship,&quot; Alonso told media on Friday.&nbsp;&quot;I think this year with McLaren we have a good opportunity to show how good is the team with the Renault power unit, we should be back to the top places. That is the main focus.</p> <p>&quot;To race in some iconic events during the season and not disturb Formula 1 is also the&nbsp;plan,&quot; he added.&nbsp;&quot;Doing this race [Daytona]&nbsp;is also&nbsp;some kind of first step in endurance&nbsp;and how these races are and how much I enjoy these races.</p> <p>&quot;After the 24 hours at Daytona, I will have a better understanding of these championships. Le Mans 24 hour and the triple crown is another target, so if I can fit the Le Mans 24 hour this year as I&rsquo;m not doing the Indy 500, that would be great.</p> <p>&quot;Hopefully the following year, the Indy 500 can be in the plan again.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16576http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16576Rene Binder signs four-race IndyCar deal with Juncos RacingFri, 05 Jan 2018 17:30:57 GMT<p><strong>Former GP2 and Formula 2 driver Rene Binder will make his IndyCar debut in 2018 after signing a four-race deal with Juncos Racing.</strong></p> <p>The 26-year-old, who raced in the now defunct World Series Formula V8 3.5 series in 2017 where he scored four wins, is scheduled to make his debut at the opening round of the season in St Peterburg on March 11.&nbsp;</p> <p>Alongside St Petersburg, the Austrian driver will race at Barber, Toronto and Mid-Ohio, and is looking forward to joining IndyCar in 2018 having watched the series since he was young.</p> <p>&ldquo;In IndyCar, it looks like every race has its special feeling and every race will be different. I am looking forward to that,&quot; he said.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I am an IndyCar fan for the pure racing aspect. The close competition, the traditional racetracks with bumps and limited runoff areas and, last but not least, the challenging race cars without power steering make it something special.&rdquo;</p> <p>With a new universal aero package in 2018 and less downforce, this season&#39;s racing machinery puts more emphasis upon the driver, and Binder is particularly excited about this prospect.</p> <p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know the old car, how it was, but the drivers what I read say that the new car is a bit more nervous and [has] less downforce, and is quite difficult to drive and quite challenging. It&rsquo;s not bad that I don&rsquo;t know how the old car was. It looks definitely challenging,&quot; he said.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The other thing will be the circuits because the circuits are quite different from the ones that I&rsquo;ve raced.</p> <p>&quot;Circuits like St. Petersburg or Long Beach are ones that I&rsquo;ve always wanted to race because I like that kind of circuit &ndash; not a lot of runoff area, it&rsquo;s bumpy. I really like it more than some of the Formula One circuits,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p>As Juncos Racing continues on the road to fielding a full-time team in the IndyCar series having made its debut at the 2017 Indianapolis 500 with Sebastian Saavedra and Spencer Pigot, the signing of Binder marks a key stepping stone for the Indiana-based outfit.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think he&rsquo;s [Binder] going to be good for us and also the series,&rdquo; said team owner Richard Juncos.&nbsp;&ldquo;He was deciding whether to stay in Europe and pursue Formula One or coming to IndyCar.</p> <p>&quot;I think [Binder&rsquo;s decision] speaks very good about the new IndyCar progress. I think [IndyCar executives] Mark Miles, Jay Frye, all these people are doing a great job. This is a little more proof, I think, of that,&quot; he added.&nbsp;</p> <p>Reigning Indy Lights champion, Kyle Kaiser, will also represent Juncos Racing in 2018 having signed a similar four-race deal with the team last year.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16570http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16570Jordan King switches to IndyCar for road/street course ECR dealThu, 04 Jan 2018 14:57:33 GMT<p>Jordan King will switch to IndyCar this year after signing a deal to pilot Ed Carpenter Racing&rsquo;s No. 20 car on road and street courses.</p> <p>King finished 11th in last year&rsquo;s Formula 2 championship, having made Formula 1 practice and test runs for Manor across 2015 and 2016, before the minnow team folded.</p> <p>King will share the No. 20 machine with team owner Ed Carpenter, who will race the car on oval courses.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am beyond excited to get started in the Verizon IndyCar Series,&rdquo; stated King, who is set for 11 races this year.</p> <p>&ldquo;After winning at Silverstone [in GP2] in 2016 and being able to drive in F1 practice, 2017 was not what I was hoping for.</p> <p>&ldquo;Going into the new season, I&rsquo;m really looking forward to having the opportunity with ECR to work towards our collective goals.</p> <p>&ldquo;I believe that together, both of us have the capability to do well!&rdquo;</p> <p>Added Carpenter: &ldquo;We are very excited to welcome Jordan to the ECR family and to have him in the No. 20 Fuzzy&rsquo;s Vodka Chevrolet for the 2018 road and street course races.</p> <p>&ldquo;I first met Jordan at Sonoma Raceway in 2016 as he was exploring opportunities in IndyCar.</p> <p>&ldquo;He is a very motivated, intelligent and hungry driver, which is exactly what we are looking for at ECR.</p> <p>&ldquo;Jordan has had a lot of success and experience in Europe and I can&rsquo;t wait to see what he is capable of with ECR in the Verizon IndyCar Series.&rdquo;</p> <p>Spencer Pigot will drive the No. 21 car at each event through 2018.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16525http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16525Carlos Munoz completes six-car Indy 500 line-up for AndrettiMon, 18 Dec 2017 18:39:43 GMT<p>Andretti Autosport will field six cars in the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500, with the announcement that Carlos Mu&ntilde;oz will return to the team, completing its line-up.</p> <p>Mu&ntilde;oz made his IndyCar debut with Andretti at the 2013 Indy 500, where he finished second, earning himself Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honors. The following year, the Colombian&nbsp;competed full time with the team and in 2016, finished runner-up to Indy champion&nbsp;Alexander Rossi.</p> <p>Mu&ntilde;oz is hoping to go one better in 2018 and admitted excitement at returning to Indy for Andretti.</p> <p>&quot;I am very excited to be a part of Andretti Autosport again,&quot; he&nbsp;said. &quot;The team has been like family to me since day one, when I joined them five years ago to race Indy Lights. We have been so close to winning the Indy 500 &ndash; twice with the team &ndash; so I am especially excited to be back for that race and hopefully we will have a good result this year.</p> <p>&quot;I need to thank Michael [Andretti] and J-F [Thormann] for believing in me and wanting me to back in their car for the Indy 500. I am also excited to be back with my team-mates, and I think we will continue to work really well together.</p> <p>&quot;We have six cars, so hopefully we will have a strong team working with the new [areo kit]. I am really looking forward to it &ndash; hopefully we can finally get that win we&rsquo;ve been so close to.&quot;</p> <p>Andretti&#39;s confirmed six-car line-up features&nbsp;Mu&ntilde;oz,&nbsp;Rossi, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Zach Veach and Stefan Wilson.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16492http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16492Carlin announces IndyCar debut with Max Chilton and Charlie KimballWed, 13 Dec 2017 11:43:00 GMT<p>Carlin has announced it will enter IndyCar with a two-car operation for the 2018 season, fielding&nbsp;drivers Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball.</p> <p>Chilton&rsquo;s history with Carlin dates to 2009, when he raced in British Formula 3 and teamed-up with current Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo. Chilton won races there as well as in GP2 with Carlin before moving with the team for its Indy Lights program.</p> <p>In his two Verizon IndyCar Series seasons with Ganassi, Chilton made 33 starts with a career-best finish of fourth in this year&rsquo;s Indianapolis 500, when he led a race-high 50 laps.</p> <p>&quot;I feel like I&rsquo;ve learned a lot now and I&rsquo;m going to be bringing that over to Carlin, which haven&rsquo;t done INDYCAR yet and have a lot to learn in that series,&quot;&nbsp;said Chilton.</p> <p>&quot;The good thing which gives me a lot of excitement and joy is Carlin is a team which really excels in a one-make series, and I think it&rsquo;s hard to disagree that INDYCAR next year is not going to be far from a one-make series. Everyone&rsquo;s basically got the same machinery apart from the engines &hellip; and I think this is where Carlin excels, so I can&rsquo;t wait.&quot;</p> <p>Kimball&rsquo;s history with Carlin dates back even&nbsp;further. The 32-year-old Californian drove for Carlin&rsquo;s British F3 team in 2005 and was part of its World Series by Renault program in 2007 when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. That led to a relationship with Novo Nordisk, which will be Kimball&rsquo;s sponsor for a 10th straight season in 2018.</p> <p>Kimball&rsquo;s entire seven-season Verizon IndyCar Series career has been spent with Chip Ganassi Racing, including his 2013 victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.</p> <p>&quot;What an exciting future for my racing career for this year,&rdquo; Kimball added. &quot;I have a lot of respect for Trevor as a team owner, as a successful team owner and just a great person to work in racing with.</p> <p>&quot;To now have Novo Nordisk as a partner with this new endeavor and a new team and to be team-mates with Max again, I&rsquo;m really excited. I don&rsquo;t underestimate how much work there is because there is a lot of work to do.&quot;</p> <p>Team principal Trevor Carlin added: &ldquo;We&rsquo;re delighted to finally be able to announce our entry into the Verizon IndyCar Series, the result of a long-term ambition of the team.</p> <p>&quot;To be joined on that journey in our debut season by brands such as Gallagher and Novo Nordisk, and with drivers we already have a race-winning history with in Max and Charlie, is beyond what we could have expected.</p> <p>&quot;By no means do we underestimate the challenge and competition that lies ahead, but I have great faith in the young and passionate team that our team manager Colin (Hale) and I have put together.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16354http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16354Matheus Leist graduates to IndyCar with AJ Foyt RacingThu, 16 Nov 2017 16:13:25 GMT<p>Matheus Leist will graduate to IndyCar in 2018 with AJ Foyt Racing, joining compatriot Tony Kanaan at the operation, marking an all-new line-up for the squad.</p> <p>Foyt fielded Carlos Mu&ntilde;oz and Conor Daly in 2017 but will head into the new campaign with a revised pairing, having recruited veteran Kanaan and rookie Leist.</p> <p>Leist, 20, won the BRDC British F3 championship in 2016 and this year placed fourth in Indy Lights, taking three victories, including at the Freedom 100.</p> <p>&ldquo;This is a special moment in my career and I&rsquo;m so grateful for the things that are happening,&rdquo; said Leist, who will drive the No. 4 car.</p> <p>&ldquo;Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that I&rsquo;ll be driving for the legend A.J. Foyt.</p> <p>&ldquo;Having Tony Kanaan as my teammate is incredible because he&rsquo;s been an idol for me since I was a child.</p> <p>&ldquo;Tony and I are from different generations but I can&rsquo;t wait to be with him at the track and learn as much as I can from him. It will be a pleasure.&rdquo;</p> <p>Leist described his graduation to Foyt as a &ldquo;dream come true&rdquo;, having moved over from Europe for his 2017 Indy Lights campaign.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m so thankful for the opportunities that I had so far and for the big moments that I lived,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;Every day I keep telling myself that I couldn&rsquo;t have made a better decision than to come to the USA at the end of 2016.</p> <p>&ldquo;America is where things happen and where the good drivers have a proper place.</p> <p>&ldquo;The IndyCar Series is one of the best categories in the world and has the most important race in the world.</p> <p>&ldquo;The championship is amazing with its combination of road courses, street courses and ovals.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a series where all the teams are capable of doing a great job. I&rsquo;ve dreamed about racing in this series and I can&rsquo;t wait for this dream to come true.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16204http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16204Ed Jones secures switch to Ganassi for 2018Thu, 26 Oct 2017 09:14:09 GMT<p>Chip Ganassi Racing has confirmed that Ed Jones will partner Scott Dixon at the downsized team in 2018.</p> <p>Jones made his IndyCar debut with Dale Coyne in 2017 and placed third at the Indianapolis 500, en route to receiving the Rookie of the Year honours.</p> <p>Jones had been tipped to remain at Coyne, but has instead captured the vacant No. 10 seat at Ganassi, in the reduced two-car team.</p> <p>&quot;This is truly an honour to have the opportunity to drive for Chip, his organisation and to represent NTT DATA,&quot; said Jones, 22.</p> <p>&quot;Chip runs one of the biggest and best motor racing teams in the world, and equally as important, is a proven winner across each series he competes in from Le Mans to Indianapolis and beyond.</p> <p>&quot;I want to get up to speed quickly and learn as much as I can. Scott is a legend in the sport, and to get the chance to team with him is an amazing opportunity.</p> <p>&quot;I think I&rsquo;m joining the team at a perfect time when the playing field is being reset with common aero kits, and everyone is adjusting to a new formula. I&#39;m really looking forward to getting in the car and getting underway with our 2018 campaign.&quot;</p> <p>Ganassi added: &quot;We&rsquo;ve been following Ed&rsquo;s career for quite some time now and are pleased we are able to add him to strengthen our IndyCar line-up.</p> <p>&quot;He has a year of Indy car racing under his belt now and is the type of young talent that we were looking for. We can&rsquo;t wait to get him on the race track.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16109http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16109Portland returns to IndyCar schedule as 17-race calendar is releasedThu, 12 Oct 2017 23:02:41 GMT<p>IndyCar has released its 2018 schedule which features 17 races and a return to the&nbsp;Portland International Raceway, which has been absent for ten years.</p> <p>The Portland event replaces Watkins Glen, which was added into the 2017 season as a last-minute replacement for the failed Boston race.</p> <p>Other changes include&nbsp;Phoenix moving&nbsp;from its late April date&nbsp;to the first weekend of April, meaning the calendar features two occurences of three consecutive race weekends with Phoenix, Long Beach and Barber happening in the space of three weekends, and&nbsp;Pocono, Gateway and Portland.</p> <p>Slotting in-between those two is a five consecutive event weekend, with the&nbsp;GP Indianapolis, Indy 500 qualifying, Indy 500, Detroit double-header and Texas Motor Speedway all happening across back-to-back weekends.</p> <p>It&#39;s also believed an 18th race could be added, with speculation Mexico City is being lined up for a race, but this hasn&#39;t been confirmed.</p> <p>&quot;The strength and consistency of the Verizon IndyCar Series&rsquo; 2018 schedule is something all of us should be proud of,&rdquo; said Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar&#39;s parent company.</p> <p>&quot;We&rsquo;re also looking forward to continuing the upward trend of the series through the introduction of the universal aero kits, which testing has shown to be an exciting product.&quot;</p> <p><strong>March 9-11 St. Petersburg, FL</strong><br /> <strong>April 6-7 Phoenix Raceway, AZ</strong><br /> <strong>April 13-15 Long Beach, CA</strong><br /> <strong>April 20-22 Barber Motorsports Park, AL</strong><br /> <strong>May 11-12 &nbsp; GP of Indianapolis, IN</strong><br /> <strong>May 15-27 &nbsp;Indianapolis 500, IN</strong><br /> <strong>June 1-3 Dual in Detroit, MI (2 races, Sat. &amp; Sun)</strong><br /> <strong>June 8-9 Texas Motor Speedway, TX</strong><br /> <strong>June 22-24 Road America, WI</strong><br /> <strong>July 7-8 &nbsp; Iowa Speedway, IA</strong><br /> <strong>July 13-15&nbsp; Toronto, ON, Canada</strong><br /> <strong>July 27-29&nbsp; Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course, OH</strong><br /> <strong>August&nbsp;18-19 &nbsp;Pocono Raceway, PA</strong><br /> <strong>August&nbsp;24-25 Gateway Motorsports Park, IL</strong><br /> <strong>August&nbsp;31-September&nbsp;2 Portland International Raceway, OR</strong><br /> <strong>September&nbsp;14-16 Sonoma Raceway, CA</strong></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16054http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/16054Tony Kanaan switches to A.J. Foyt for 2018 IndyCar seasonThu, 05 Oct 2017 17:00:18 GMT<p>Tony Kanaan will switch to A.J. Foyt&#39;s eponymous team for the 2018 IndyCar campaign, the outfit confirmed on Thursday.</p> <p>Kanaan, 42, graduated to CART in 1998 and moved across to IndyCar in 2002, capturing the 2004 title and the Indianapolis 500 in 2013.</p> <p>Kanaan&rsquo;s four-year stint with Ganassi came to a close at the end of the 2017 campaign and the Brazilian has now inked a multi-year deal to pilot the No. 14 car with Foyt.</p> <p>&quot;I just thought it was a great opportunity for me to build something where we can make history, and for me that&rsquo;s what racing&rsquo;s all about,&quot;&nbsp;said Kanaan.</p> <p>&quot;Yes it is about the wins, but it&rsquo;s also about the people, the people that you&rsquo;re associated with. We&rsquo;re going to make some history.</p> <p>&quot;As a driver, you want to be on a team that works around you, that will build the stuff around you and for you, but also, if I can have a person like A.J. to help me, even at this point of my career, it&rsquo;s awesome. He&rsquo;s a legend in many ways in my book.&quot;</p> <p>Foyt has yet to make a decision on the identity of Kanaan&rsquo;s team-mate.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15925http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15925Chip Ganassi Racing to downsize from four to two cars in 2018Thu, 21 Sep 2017 07:29:34 GMT<p>Chip Ganassi Racing will halve its number of cars in IndyCar next year, after downsizing from four to two entries.</p> <p>Scott Dixon will pilot the No. 9 car, while a yet-to-be determined driver will climb aboard the No. 10 machine, in turn confirming Tony Kanaan&rsquo;s exit.</p> <p>Ganassi has not fielded just two cars since 2010, having run Charlie Kimball since 2011 and Max Chilton since 2016, with both drivers poised to leave the operation.</p> <p>&ldquo;This decision was based on the fact that we felt we needed to get back to our core business of running two championship-calibre teams,&rdquo; explained Ganassi.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a tough decision to make as it affects a lot of people.</p> <p>&ldquo;With news like this comes contraction and as such we had to let a number of good people go.</p> <p>&ldquo;The decision was not taken lightly, but we felt it was best for our business.</p> <p>&ldquo;It is one of the toughest things you experience as a business owner &ndash; especially because I am all-too aware that it is the people who make any company tick.</p> <p>&ldquo;We will be back in 2018 and ready to compete for our 12th IndyCar championship.&rdquo;</p> <p>Ganassi has had lean pickings in recent years, with only Dixon delivering victories across the past three seasons.</p> <p>Dixon, though, triumphed just once in 2017, at Road America &ndash; Ganassi&rsquo;s sole win of the campaign.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15921http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15921Takuma Sato returns to RLLR for 2018 IndyCar seasonWed, 20 Sep 2017 15:11:12 GMT<p>Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato will return to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing next year in an expanded two-car team, alongside Graham Rahal.</p> <p>Sato, who competed in Formula 1 between 2002 and 2008, moved to IndyCar in 2010, and spent the 2012 campaign with RLLR, before moving across to AJ Foyt&rsquo;s team.</p> <p>Sato joined Andretti for 2017, and claimed a famous triumph at the Indy 500, en route to a career-best eighth in the standings, and will now return to the expanded RLLR team for 2018.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m excited about having Taku back with us,&rdquo; said team co-owner Bobby Rahal.</p> <p>&ldquo;I have such admiration for his spirit and how he approaches everything and was so happy for him when he won the Indy 500 this year.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The chance to bring him back to the team was too good to pass up.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;He and Graham get along very well and we will have two strong cars that can win any race in 2018.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I think that will give our team a great chance at being contenders in every race but it&rsquo;s also going to give each of our drivers a chance to have their best years ever.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m excited about it and even though the 2017 season just concluded, I can&rsquo;t wait for the 2018 season to start.&rdquo;</p> <p>RLLR has not fielded two cars full-time since 2013.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15906http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15906Video: Highlights from IndyCar season finale at SonomaMon, 18 Sep 2017 09:27:33 GMT<p>Watch race highlights from the IndyCar season finale at Sonoma.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15904http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15904Simon Pagenaud takes Sonoma victory as Josef Newgarden takes titleMon, 18 Sep 2017 09:12:06 GMT<p>Simon Pagenaud denied Josef Newgarden the perfect weekend, though it won&#39;t matter much to the 26-year-old who claimed his maiden IndyCar championship on Sunday evening at Sonoma as he did everything he needed to do.</p> <p>The Sonoma victory went to Team Penske&#39;s Pagenaud &ndash; taking the season finale victory for the second straight year &ndash; with team-mate Newgarden in second place, just one second adrift as they crossed the finish line.</p> <p>That was enough though&nbsp;for points leader heading into the event Newgarden to snatch the series title in his 100th career race, making him the&nbsp;first American to win the championship since Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2012, earning Team Penske their&nbsp;15th title.</p> <p>Will Power gave Team Penske a podium sweep by placing third whilst&nbsp;Scott Dixon finished fourth&nbsp;for Chip Ganassi Racing to clinch third in the standings, 21 points behind Newgarden.</p> <p>The race ran caution-free for the first time in Sonoma Raceway history. Newgarden and Pagenaud each led 41 of the 85 laps on the 12-turn, 2.385-mile road course. Pagenaud opted for a four-stop strategy to Newgarden&rsquo;s three pit stops, but the Frenchman made up the time by running faster laps on open track.</p> <p>The decisive moment of the race came when Pagenaud made his final stop for fuel and tires from the lead on Lap 64. He returned to the track just ahead of the charging Newgarden and held on to first place as the teammates battled around the track. Once Pagenaud&rsquo;s tires reached proper temperature, he was able to keep Newgarden in his mirrors to the finish.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves wrapped up fourth in the championship by finishing fifth in the race. Completing his 20th year racing Indy cars, the 42-year-old Brazilian is still in search of a first series championship.</p> <p>By finishing third in the race, Power &ndash; the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion &ndash; earned fifth place in the standings.</p> <p><img alt="" height="703" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/Screen%20Shot%202017-09-18%20at%2010_09_29.png" width="1481" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15860http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15860Zach Veach, Spencer Pigot get full-time IndyCar 2018 dealsThu, 14 Sep 2017 12:53:16 GMT<p>Rising youngsters Zach Veach and Spencer Pigot have secured full-time IndyCar seats in 2018 with Andretti Autosport and Ed Carpenter Racing respectively.</p> <p>Veach, 22, will replace Takuma Sato in the No. 26 car, completing an all-American line-up at Andretti, alongside Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Alexander Rossi.</p> <p>Veach made his IndyCar debut for ECR at Barber, as a replacement for the injured J.R. Hildebrand, and competed at the Indy 500 with Foyt.</p> <p>Veach has raced for Andretti at each step of the junior ladder, having competed in US F2000, Star Mazda, and Indy Lights with the operation.</p> <p>Pigot, meanwhile, will move across to ECR&rsquo;s No. 21 car for 2018, in place of Hildebrand, and contest each event.</p> <p>Pigot currently pilots the squad&rsquo;s No. 20 car on road and street course events, with team boss Carpenter taking over the reins on oval circuits.</p> <p>Pigot made his IndyCar bow in 2016 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing as part of his three-race scholarship for winning the previous year&rsquo;s Indy Lights title.</p> <p>The American then moved across to ECR mid-2016, where he has remained since, aside from a one-event deal with new team Juncos to contest this year&rsquo;s Indy 500.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15849http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15849Tristan Gommendy to race third Schmidt car at 2018 Indy 500Tue, 12 Sep 2017 12:25:15 GMT<p>Tristan Gommendy will link up with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to pilot the squad&rsquo;s No. 77 car during next year&rsquo;s running of the Indianapolis 500.</p> <p>Schmidt has finalised a deal with Calmels Sport which will see Gommendy race its third car, in a blue, white and red livery, in honour of Gommendy&rsquo;s native France.</p> <p>Gommendy, 38, who competes in the LMP2 class of the World Endurance Championship, has not raced in IndyCar, though did make a handful of appearances in Champ Cars in 2007.</p> <p>&ldquo;Competing in the Indianapolis 500 is a dream come true; it was a career goal when I was racing in Champ Car,&rdquo; said Gommendy.</p> <p>&ldquo;Even though I grew up driving open-wheel cars, everything is completely new when you get to Indy.</p> <p>&ldquo;The Speedway and this race demand a lot of respect. Racing at 230 mph with four 90&deg; turns is far from the European motorsport culture.</p> <p>&ldquo;I know I&rsquo;ll have to work very hard to get ready for next May. The first steps, including my first simulator test, went well, but much more work needs to be done.</p> <p>&ldquo;Everything so far has shown me that this partnership between Calmels Sport and SPM is extraordinary. In the United States, everything is possible&hellip; provided you earn your spot.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15819http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15819All in at Sonoma Raceway for Team Penske and championship leader Josef NewgardenFri, 08 Sep 2017 09:27:21 GMT<p>All four Team Penske drivers (Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power) managed to complete an important&nbsp;one-day test at Sonoma Raceway yesterday in preparation for the season ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on the 17th September which will decide the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Champion.</p> <p>With all four Penske drivers in the mix for the title, this test was crucial and despite wet weather in the morning, the drivers were able to get out on track at noon and complete approximately five hours of testing throughout the afternoon.&nbsp;</p> <p>Newgarden, on 560 points, leads the standings by just three points ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing&rsquo;s Scott Dixon (557) with Newgarden&rsquo;s three teammates next up - Castroneves (538), defending series champion Pagenaud (526) and 2014 series champion Power (492). All are contenders for the Championship with 100 points on the table for the winner!</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re in a good position with the points lead, but it&rsquo;s not anything secure,&rdquo; said Newgarden. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve got to have a good weekend here and I think having a test day like today is always helpful. What we learned today we want to apply to the race weekend. Team Penske has always been strong here, so we&rsquo;ve got to execute on that.&rdquo;</p> <p>His teammate Helio Castroneves, an acknowledged Sonoma specialist, was confident as well.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a little bit misty this morning and a little bit cooler, so we didn&rsquo;t start right away, but at the end of the day the entire Team Penske got a little taste of what it&rsquo;s going to be like next week and were able to try some interesting things. So, right now, we feel more prepared than ever, but things can always change.&rdquo;</p> <p>With double points on the table for the season finale the only single result definite projection for any of the four drivers would be a win for the 26-year-old Tennessean Newgarden, who would celebrate a first championship in his inaugural year driving for Penske. But that will be no small feat, as the four drivers chasing him each boast at least one win on the classic 2.5 mile Sears Point road course, now know as Sonoma Raceway.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;You can only control so much within the championship,&rdquo; said Newgarden, who&rsquo;s best finish at Sonoma is sixth.&nbsp;&ldquo;The only thing we can really do is try to focus on winning the race and do the best job we can with that. If we win the race, we win the championship and for us that&rsquo;s the best thing, that we control our own destiny.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15814http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15814IndyCar Series to use Virtual Reality to bring racing closer to the fansThu, 07 Sep 2017 14:41:44 GMT<p>The Verizon&nbsp;IndyCar Series has announced a new&nbsp;partnership with augmented and virtual reality production company Mandt VR to enhance its race coverage that it delivers to fans on its digital platform.</p> <p>California based (Los Angeles) Mandt VR will produce behind-the-scenes footage during the 2018 IndyCar season at a number of the series&#39; major events&nbsp;such as the Indianapolis 500, the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 and the season ending Grand Prix of Sonoma.</p> <p>The deal will initially cover the 2018 season, although both parties are hopeful of extending the relationship further if the move proves popular with fans.</p> <p>Content will be showcased on IndyCar.com, and on the series&rsquo; official pages on social media platform Facebook and video-sharing website YouTube.</p> <p>Up to five&nbsp;initial VR videos will be produced, with experiences to include sitting in drivers&rsquo; seats and a fans-eye view from the stands.</p> <p>&ldquo;IndyCar will continue its momentum by engaging present fans while seeking new and younger audiences,&rdquo; CJ O&#39;Donnell, IndyCar&rsquo;s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. &ldquo;Social media, video content, and now virtual reality will be central to this strategy.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15810http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15810RLLR adds Zachary Claman De Melo for Sonoma finaleWed, 06 Sep 2017 20:49:08 GMT<p>Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has confirmed that Zach Claman De Melo will make his IndyCar Series debut with the team at next weekend&rsquo;s Sonoma finale.</p> <p>De Melo, 19, placed fifth in the championship during his second Indy Lights campaign, having captured his maiden victory at Road America.</p> <p>De Melo will now graduate to the premier category to drive the No. 16 car, as team-mate to regular Graham Rahal.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re pleased that Zach has chosen Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to make his series debut,&rdquo; said team co-owner Bobby Rahal.</p> <p>&ldquo;Zach had a very good year in the Indy Lights Series and we think that he has the ability to perform well in the IndyCar Series.</p> <p>&ldquo;We closely watched his performance at the recent IndyCar test at Road America where he was the quickest of the rookies testing and we are confident that he can do a good, solid job for both himself and the team at Sonoma.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Our goals for Zach are that he has a good, consistent race and gains experience, which is so important, and hopefully takes that experience to use as a stepping stone for 2018.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15788http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15788Alexander Rossi beats Scott Dixon to take his first IndyCar win of 2017Sun, 03 Sep 2017 19:51:44 GMT<p>Andretti driver Alexander Rossi backed up his strong qualifying performance with race victory at Watkins Glen, his first triumph of the 2017 IndyCar season.</p> <p>The American, who won last year&#39;s Indianapolis 500, lined up on pole position and beat fellow front-row starter Scott Dixon to the win, finishing one second ahead of the Chip Ganassi driver after a dramatic and frequently-interrupted race.</p> <p>Damp and slippery conditions meant the field started on wet tyres, before diving into the pits at the end of the first lap for slicks.</p> <p>During the pitstop phase, Rossi slipped to second behind Helio Castroneves, who had a storming opening phase to rise from sixth to first, before having to tackle several pauses in the green-flag running.</p> <p>One of those was for 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato&rsquo;s car, which stopped briefly on track before it got going again. The field dived into the pits, but Rossi&rsquo;s car was short-fuelled after a problem with the fuel hose.</p> <p>He made good use of the restart to move ahead of Castroneves, effectively taking over the race lead, although several runners had opted to stay out and moved to the front of the pack.</p> <p>But, just after race leader Spencer Pigot pitted, releasing Rossi into first place, he was forced to stop for fuel due to the earlier issue. This put him out of sequence.</p> <p>However, he saved fuel and hit the front again when another caution appeared for Sato&rsquo;s smoke-billowing car. Most of the pack, on the mainstream strategy, decided to pit and this elevated Rossi to the lead.</p> <p>Rossi continued saving fuel and pitted again on lap 42, right at the window needed to stop and make it to the end. Several other frontrunners reacted but Rossi retained first place through this pit cycle.</p> <p>He held on right to the chequered flag, with Scott Dixon bouncing back from a slow start to close in on Rossi and claim second place, with Ryan Hunter-Reay third and Castroneves fourth.</p> <p>Will Power was fifth in the second Penske, with team-mate Simon Pagenaud down in ninth. But, championship leader Josef Newgarden suffered a tough end to the race.</p> <p>He was in with a chance of a strong result when he went off and glanced the wall at the pit exit at the last round of stops, with Sebastien Bourdais collecting him.</p> <p>Various trips to the pits for repairs meant he finished off the lead lap, but retains the lead in the standings. Tony Kanaan also failed to finish after a similar barrier hit at the pit exit just moments after Newgarden&rsquo;s incident.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15777http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15777Alexander Rossi snatches pole from Scott Dixon at The GlenSat, 02 Sep 2017 20:55:52 GMT<p>Alexander Rossi will start Sunday&#39;s IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen from pole position after demoting championship contenders Scott Dixon and Josef&nbsp;Newgarden with his laptime of 1:22.4639 in the Firestone Fast Six.</p> <p>Dixon lines up second after pipping Newgarden by the smallest possible margin, with just 0.0001 between the pair who are split by just 31 points at the head of the championship standings.</p> <p>But that wasn&#39;t enough&nbsp;as Rossi went&nbsp;0.0529s quicker to grab his first IndyCar pole with a top speed of&nbsp;147.119mph in the No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda.</p> <p>Takuma Sato, Charlie Kimball and Helio Castroneves completed the Firestone Fast Six, with&nbsp;0.8711s covering the entire field.</p> <p>Rossi also led Q1, Group 1, with Newgarden and&nbsp;Castroneves in second and third, followed by&nbsp;Sato, Kimball and Will Power.</p> <p>Spencer Pigot just missed out on a Q2 slot by&nbsp;0.0813 from Power, with&nbsp;Ed Jones, Tony Kanaan and Max Chilton also knocked out in the opening qualifying round.</p> <p>Group 2 saw Dixon lead ahead of&nbsp;Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sebastien Bourdais, Graham Rahal, Simon Pagenaud and Carlos Munoz.</p> <p>Failing to make the cut were&nbsp;Conor Daly, by just 0.0067s,&nbsp;James Hinchcliffe, Jack Harvey &ndash; who made his&nbsp;road course qualifying debut &ndash;&nbsp;Marco Andretti and JR Hildebrand.</p> <p>The next stage, Q2, saw the lead change hands several times before Dixon posted a time of&nbsp;1:22.4171 to clear the field by&nbsp;0.3790s, with a top speed of&nbsp;147.202mph &ndash; that lap would have been good enough for pole had&nbsp;Dixon been able to recreate it in the final session.</p> <p>Hunter-Reay missed out on advancing to the Fast Six by&nbsp;just 0.032s in seventh place, as Power, Bourdais, Rahal, Munoz and Pagenaud also missed the cut.</p> <p>The Fast Six came down to the final lap from Rossi as he claimed his maiden IndyCar pole, with Dixon and Newgarden lining up behind &ndash; but the Team Penske racer almost lost it coming out of The Boot, kicking up dust as he ran wide, but escaped any serious drama.</p> <p><strong>Qualifying Result: IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen</strong></p> <p><img alt="" height="435" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/unofficialwgiqualtimes.jpg" width="745" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15750http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15750Andretti, Alexander Rossi renew partnership through to 2019Fri, 01 Sep 2017 13:50:49 GMT<p>Alexander Rossi will remain with Andretti Autosport through until at least the end of 2019 after signing a new deal with the team.</p> <p>Rossi moved to IndyCar for 2016 with the Herta-associated Andretti squad and captured victory at the Indianapolis 500, and this year holds seventh in the standings.</p> <p>Rossi has now joined Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti in pledging his future to the Honda-powered outfit.</p> <p>&ldquo;As always, this silly season is a challenging one for everyone involved, but I am very thankful to have such incredible support to extend our deal through 2019,&rdquo; said Rossi.</p> <p>&ldquo;The improvements that we have made this year and the relationships that I have built within the team over the past two seasons created the foundation for a very exciting future.</p> <p>&ldquo;On top of this, I&rsquo;m very excited about the future of IndyCar and where the whole series is headed.</p> <p>&ldquo;With the new car for next year, it is bound to be even more competitive and exciting than in years past and this is something that I am very proud to be a part of.</p> <p>&ldquo;It is an honour to race alongside such talented drivers and teams and I feel truly blessed in having the opportunity to showcase what I am capable of.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15739http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15739Andretti extends Honda engine partnership with 'multi-year' dealThu, 31 Aug 2017 13:28:46 GMT<p>Andretti has extended its engine partnership with Honda as part of a new &ldquo;multi-year agreement&rdquo;, the team has announced.</p> <p>Since Andretti and Honda joined forces in IndyCar, the partnership has taken three series titles and five victories at the Indianapolis 500.</p> <p>Of the team&rsquo;s 56 IndyCar wins, 47 of those have been scored with Honda power, and the tie-up will continue from 2018 onwards with the new deal.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s no secret that we&rsquo;ve been weighing this decision for a while now,&rdquo; said Andretti CEO Michael Andretti.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve had strong relationships and have marked milestones with both manufacturers, but we&rsquo;re pleased to continue our Honda partnership.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have a great history of success with Honda and I have no doubt that together, our collection of achievements will continue to grow.&rdquo;</p> <p>Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti are under contract and remain at the Andretti outfit for the 2018 IndyCar season.</p> <p>Andretti says confirmation of the team&rsquo;s remaining drivers will be arriving &ldquo;in the coming weeks&rdquo;.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15702http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15702Josef Newgarden takes victory in thrilling Gateway 500Sun, 27 Aug 2017 04:46:03 GMT<p><strong>Josef Newgarden has taken victory in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at the Gateway Motorsports Park, extending his lead in the drivers&rsquo; championship to 31 points over Scott Dixon after a thrilling 248-lap race.</strong></p> <p>During the latter stages of the race Newgarden muscled his way around team-mate and reigning champion Simon Pagenaud for the lead, with the duo banging wheels at Turn 1 yet miraculously avoiding taking each other out.</p> <p>After Newgarden&rsquo;s feisty manoeuvre Pagenaud was forced wide and lost considerable momentum, losing a further position to Dixon.</p> <p>Despite Penske&rsquo;s power advantage over the rest of the field throughout the weekend Pagenaud was unable to find a way around Dixon during the last few laps, with the four-time champion securing P2 and a vital collection of points.</p> <p>Pagenaud was forced to settle for third ahead of team-mate Helio Castroneves, who also led several laps before stalling during a pit-stop.</p> <p>Conor Daly was an impressive P5 for A.J. Foyt Racing, with the Chevrolet-powered racer swarming all over the rear of Castroneves during the final few laps.</p> <p>Alexander Rossi was sixth for Andretti Herta Autosport, ahead of Charle Kimball who once again enjoyed a productive oval race for Ganassi.</p> <p>James Hinchcliffe failed to trouble the sharp end of the order throughout the race, with the Honda-powered drivers struggling somewhat in comparison to those running Chevrolet engines.</p> <p>Carlos Munoz and Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top ten, with the Frenchman in particular raising many eyebrows up and down the paddock after making a relatively competitive return to the series following his almighty shunt during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 back in May.</p> <p>The race began in comical circumstances when Tony Kanaan spun on the final formation lap, with the Brazilian veteran making significant contact with the wall in the process.&nbsp;</p> <p>At the same time as this embarrassing mistake from Kanaan the race began under safety car conditions, with pole sitter Will Power in the lead.</p> <p>Although Kanaan eventually managed to rejoin the action several laps down, the Ganassi racer was ultimately forced into retirement towards the end of the race due to mechanical issues striking his car.</p> <p>On the restart carnage ensued when Power, Ed Carpenter and Takuma Sato made contact Turn 2, with Carpenter in particular flying over the top of Power and miraculously avoiding the cockpit area of the Penske racer.</p> <p>The race was interrupted by three other caution periods, as J.R. Hildebrand, Max Chilton and Ryan Hunter-Reay all made contact with the wall in separate incidents.&nbsp;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15689http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15689Josef Newgarden fastest in final practice at GatewaySat, 26 Aug 2017 03:29:54 GMT<p><strong>Josef Newgarden has ended final practice ahead of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at the Gateway Motorsports Park fastest for Penske, as preparations continued for the 248-lap race.</strong></p> <p>After an intriguing qualifying session around the 1.25-mile oval, the teams and drivers were given one final hour of track time in a bid to finalise their preparations for the all-important race under the floodlights.&nbsp;</p> <p>Championship leader Newgarden rose to the top during the latter part of the session, after it was extended by five minutes after two caution periods early on.</p> <p>Ed Carpenter enjoyed a thoroughly competitive end to the final practice session, with the team owner improving to P2 during the final seconds of track action to disrupt Penske&rsquo;s dominance.</p> <p>Will Power was therefore forced to settle for third after the late improvements up and down the order, with the Australian racer comfortably securing pole position earlier in the evening.</p> <p>Brazilian veteran Helio Castroneves was P4 as Chevrolet power continued to dominate proceedings, with the top four positions all occupied by Chevrolet-backed racers.</p> <p>Alexander Rossi was the fastest Honda-powered racer in fifth for Andretti Herta Autosport, as the majority of the drivers switched to race simulations in preparation for Saturday night&rsquo;s race.</p> <p>Throughout the final hour of track action many of the drivers ran in very close proximity to each other, in a bid to simulate race conditions.</p> <p>Scott Dixon was P6 for Chip Ganassi Racing, with the four-time champion still unable to break into the top three and disrupt Penske&rsquo;s grip at the top.</p> <p>Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato was seventh for Andretti Autosport, ahead of Ed Carpenter Racing&rsquo;s J.R. Hildebrand in P8.</p> <p>Tony Kanaan managed to improve substantially following a miserable qualifying performance, with the veteran racer ending final practice ninth for Ganassi.</p> <p>Meanwhile Conor Daly rounded out the top ten for A.J. Foyt Racing, with the outfit continuing to take advantage of Chevrolet&rsquo;s upper-hand over Honda.</p> <p>Further down the order reigning champion Simon Pagenaud could only manage P13 for Penske, ending the outfit&rsquo;s dominance of the top four positions after a perfect start to their weekend.</p> <p>The session was interrupted by two caution periods for track inspections, the first after only several minutes of track action after a large piece of debris was deposited on the back straight.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15688http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15688Will Power leads Penske 1-2-3-4 with pole at GatewaySat, 26 Aug 2017 00:46:39 GMT<p><strong>Will Power has secured pole position for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at the Gateway Motorsports Park, with Penske dominating the qualifying session and locking-out the top four positions on the grid.</strong></p> <p>Each driver completed two qualifying laps around the 1.25-mile oval, with their average speed dictating their overall position in the classification.</p> <p>Power was the final driver to take to the track during the qualifying session, and comfortably asserted his authority with a 189.642mph average.</p> <p>The Australian racer will start the race alongside team-mate and championship leader Josef Newgarden, as Penske and Chevrolet once again dominated proceedings over Honda.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves will occupy the second row of the grid in P3 alongside team-mate and reigning champion Simon Pagenaud, with both drivers momentarily rising up to provisional pole position after their separate qualifying attempts.</p> <p>Ed Carpenter took full advantage of Chevrolet&rsquo;s dominance to propel himself to the sharp end of the order, with the team owner set to start the 248-lap race from fifth on the grid.</p> <p>Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato was the fastest Honda-powered racer in P6 for Andretti Autosport, with the former Formula 1 racer ultimately unable to repeat his successes from last time out in Pocono.</p> <p>Scott Dixon was seventh for Chip Ganassi Racing, with the four-time champion unable to challenge the sharp end of the order after a relatively average session.</p> <p>Carlos Munoz was another benefactor of Chevrolet&rsquo;s advantage over Honda, with the Columbian racer initially slotting into P4 after his run before falling down the order to eventually settle for P8 on the grid.</p> <p>Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top ten, with both drivers setting average speeds comfortably within the 183mph bracket.</p> <p>Rookie Ed Jones failed to capitalise on his impressive practice performance earlier in the day, with the Dubai-born British racer qualifying just outside the top ten in P12.</p> <p>Further down the order IndyCar veteran Tony Kanaan could only manage P17 for Ganassi, with the Brazilian&rsquo;s previous knowledge of the Gateway Motorsports Park unable to assist him to a higher grid slot.</p> <p>Meanwhile Sebastien Bourdais qualified P19 on his return to the series following his major incident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, ahead of a disgruntled Marco Andretti who will occupy the last row on the grid with Sebastian Saavedra.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15687http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15687Will Power tops practice as IndyCar returns to GatewayFri, 25 Aug 2017 22:29:10 GMT<p><strong>Will Power has ended practice one fastest for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at the Gateway Motorsports Park, as the IndyCar Series returns to the 1.25-mile oval for the first time since 2003.</strong></p> <p>With the track adorned with a new surface the teams and drivers were eager to begin their preparations for the weekend ahead, with only one practice session available before the all-important qualifying session.</p> <p>Championship leader Josef Newgarden was second fastest in a session completely dominated by Penske and Chevrolet, with the outfit locking-out the top four positions.</p> <p>Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud was P3, with the top four drivers all assuming the the top spot at some stage throughout the one-hour session.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves was fourth fastest, with the Brazilian veteran posting the initial benchmark at the start of the session.</p> <p>Castroneves is one of three drivers to have previously raced at the Gateway Motorsports Park, winning the last IndyCar event at the venue in 2003 for Penske.</p> <p>Rookie Ed Jones was extremely competitive for Dale Coyne Racing, ending the session as the fastest Honda-powered driver in P5.</p> <p>Alexander Rossi was sixth after a late improvement by the Andretti Herta Autosport racer, with Honda power clearly at a disadvantage in comparison to manufacturer rivals Chevrolet.</p> <p>Conor Daly took full advantage of Chevrolet&rsquo;s pace for A.J. Foyt Racing, spending the majority of the session towards the top of the classification and eventually ending proceedings in P7.</p> <p>Takuma Sato was eighth after a relatively competitive start to the weekend, with the reigning Indianapolis 500 winner hunting for a repeat of his qualifying success last time out in Pocono.</p> <p>Four-time champion Scott Dixon was P9 for Chip Ganassi Racing, ahead of 2012 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay who rounded out the top ten for Andretti Autosport.</p> <p>Further down the order Sebastien Bourdais ended the session a respectable P15, with the Frenchman returning to the series for the first time after his horrific accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 back in May.</p> <p>The session was interrupted by two caution periods, firstly due to a mistake by Max Chilton in the pit-lane.</p> <p>The former Formula 1 racer exited his pit box and immediately lost control of his car, colliding with an INDYCAR official in the process.</p> <p>Although the official was uninjured Chilton was struck with a monetary and held in his pit box for five minutes after the session returned to green flag conditions.</p> <p>Shortly before the end of the session proceedings were once again halted due to a track inspection.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15657http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15657Sebastien Bourdais to make IndyCar return at GatewayThu, 24 Aug 2017 08:47:46 GMT<p>Dale Coyne Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais will make his IndyCar return this weekend at Gateway, and will also drive at the final two road course races.</p> <p>It will be his first time back racing in IndyCar since his huge crash during Indianapolis 500 qualifying, where he suffered pelvic and hip fractures.</p> <p>Bourdais has recovered faster than expected and this meant he was able to complete a recent test at Mid-Ohio, and was recently given the all-clear to get back to racing.</p> <p>He was targeting a return for the Sonoma finale, but this has been brought forward to Gateway and he will continue for the last two rounds.</p> <p>James Davison stepped into Bourdais&rsquo; car for the Indy 500, with Tristan Vautier and, more frequently, Esteban Gutierrez replacing the Frenchman in recent races.</p> <p>&ldquo;You have no idea how excited I am to be getting back in the car this weekend and for the remainder of the season,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&#39;s been a long 14 weeks and I&#39;ve worked very hard to get to this point. Following the crash, I had one goal in mind and that was to be back for Sonoma, and here I am getting back in the car with three races to go.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&#39;s a bit unbelievable but I can&#39;t wait to try out that new surface at Gateway this weekend.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15638http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15638Jack Harvey to drive No.7 SPM car at last two IndyCar roundsMon, 21 Aug 2017 13:18:45 GMT<p>British driver Jack Harvey will compete in the final two rounds of the 2017 IndyCar season, racing the No.7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car.</p> <p>He takes over from Mikhail Aleshin, who left the team earlier this month and was replaced for Toronto and the last race in Pocono by Sebastian Saavedra - who will also drive at Gateway.</p> <p>But Harvey will take over for the final two events on the calendar, the former British F3 champion getting behind the wheel for Watkins Glen and Sonoma.</p> <p>Harvey competed for SPM in Indy Lights, finishing runner-up in 2014 and 2015, and made his IndyCar debut earlier this year at the Indianapolis 500 with Michael Shank Racing and Andretti.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s obviously a really exciting time for me and I&rsquo;m really pleased to re-join everyone here at SPM,&rdquo; said Harvey.</p> <p>&ldquo;We had a lot of success together in Indy Lights and I&rsquo;m excited to be back with so many familiar faces.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m really looking forward to getting on track at Watkins Glen and, although I haven&rsquo;t driven there, it&rsquo;s definitely been a bucket list track and one that I&rsquo;ve been looking forward to driving on even before I came to America.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15633http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15633Will Power takes Pocono victory after masterful recovery drive Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:58:54 GMT<p><strong>Will Power has stormed to a terrific victory in the ABC Supply 500 at the Pocono Raceway after deploying a masterful recovery drive after requiring two off-sequence pit-stops.</strong></p> <p>The 2014 champion was forced to pit on two separate occasions for a new front-wing and a new rear-wing assembly, after a typically competitive race around the 2.5-mile triangular oval.</p> <p>Despite these frustrating pit-stops Power was able to regain the lead lap and save fuel, rising to the front of the order during the fifth round of scheduled pit-stops.</p> <p>After cycling to the front Power was able to open up a considerable gap and complete his final pit-stop without losing a position.</p> <p>From there it was a case of defending the lead against Penske team-mate Josef Newgarden, who also rose through the order during the final stint after Honda power dominated for much of the race.</p> <p>Despite a strong end to the race for Newgarden, Power managed to expertly defend his lead by taking the bottom line between Turns 2 and 3.</p> <p>This tactic broke the draft between Power and Newgarden&rsquo;s car, making any overtaking manoeuvre exceptionally difficult to complete.</p> <p>Therefore Newgarden was forced to settle for P2, extending his lead in the drivers&rsquo; championship over Ganassi racer Scott Dixon.</p> <p>Alexander Rossi spent the majority of the race at the front of the order, but could only manage P3, ending proceedings as the highest running Honda-powered car.</p> <p>Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud could only manage fourth after starting from the front-row of the grid, with the Frenchman failing to capitalise on his qualifying performance.</p> <p>Tony Kanaan led a significant amount of laps throughout the race but was ultimately unable to challenge Penske for victory, settling for P5 ahead of team-mate Dixon.</p> <p>Dixon also managed to lead many laps early on in the race, but in doing so used up more fuel than the rest of the field and was therefore always the first driver to make a scheduled pit-stop.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves enjoyed a very productive race for Penske, with the Brazilian veteran rising through the order to finish a respectable seventh despite a heavy shunt in qualifying.</p> <p>Ryan Hunter-Reay was equally impressive, with the Andretti Autosport driver also involved in a major incident during qualifying and even transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital for further evaluation.</p> <p>Upon being cleared to drive only hours before the race Hunter-Reay once again scythed through the order, even leading several laps on his way to P8.</p> <p>Graham Rahal was another driver who led a handful of laps, with this year&rsquo;s race setting a record 43 lead changes around the Pocono Raceway.</p> <p>Rahal dropped down the order during the latter stages of the race, settling for ninth with Carlos Munoz rounding out the top ten.</p> <p>Pole sitter Takuma Sato endured a tough afternoon, losing the lead early on and never returning to the front of the field.&nbsp;</p> <p>The reigning Indianapolis 500 winner could only manage P13, with Charlie Kimball also struggling despite an equally impressive qualifying performance in P16.</p> <p>The race was interrupted by three caution periods, with former Formula 1 racer Esteban Gutierrez making light but race-ending contact with the wall early on.</p> <p>Sebastian Saavedra did likewise on Lap 115 to cause the second caution period, while James Hinchcliffe made contact with J.R. Hildebrand at Turn 1 in a heavy shunt to cause the third and final caution.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15626http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15626Will Power tops final practice at PoconoSat, 19 Aug 2017 22:08:09 GMT<p><strong>Will Power has ended the final practice session ahead of the ABC Supply 500 fastest at the Pocono Raceway, as the teams and drivers began to finalise their preparations ahead of the 200-lap race.</strong></p> <p>After a thrilling qualifying session earlier in the day, the focus up and down the paddock soon shifted to completing race simulations, with many drivers during the final 30 minutes of track action trying their best to replicate race conditions by running in close proximity of each other.</p> <p>Simon Pagenaud was second for Penske, with the outfit gradually improving throughout the day after a difficult start to proceedings during the first practice session.</p> <p>Max Chilton was the fastest Honda-powered racer in P3 for Ganassi, with the British racer ending the session only just ahead of team-mate Tony Kanaan.</p> <p>The Brazilian veteran has been on fine form around the 2.5-mile oval, and will be looking to translate his pace when the grid reconvene for the race on Sunday,</p> <p>Helio Castroneves managed to bounce back in fifth for Penske after a heavy shunt during qualifying, with his mechanics performing a masterful turnaround on his car to allow him to complete valuable laps after a far from straightforward day.</p> <p>Josef Newgarden was P6 after a dismal display during qualifying for Penske, after the championship leader struggled with oversteer in Turn 1 in particular.&nbsp;</p> <p>All four Penske drivers managed to finish the session within the top ten, which will give both the team and Chevrolet renewed confidence after a tough start to the weekend.</p> <p>Marco Andretti was the fastest Andretti Autosport racer in seventh, after a topsy-turvy day for the outfit.&nbsp;</p> <p>Although Takuma Sato managed to secure pole position after a strong display of pace from the team in practice one, Ryan Hunter-Reay was involved in a big incident at Turn 3 during qualifying and has since been transferred by ground to the Leigh Valley Hospital for further evaluation after limping out of his wrecked car.</p> <p>Former Formula 1 racer Esteban Gutierrez ended final practice in P8 for Dale Coyne Racing, as the IndyCar rookie continued to gain valuable experience in his first race weekend on a superspeedway oval.</p> <p>Sebastian Saavedra and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top ten, with Saavedra doing a superb job for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports after stepping in to replace Mikhail Aleshin at short notice.</p> <p>Further down the order four-time champion Scott Dixon could only manage P14, despite initially topping the session before a caution period for a track inspection disrupted proceedings.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15625http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15625Takuma Sato pips Simon Pagenaud to Pocono pole Sat, 19 Aug 2017 19:15:12 GMT<p><strong>Takuma Sato has pipped reigning champion Simon Pagenaud to pole for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, after an utterly thrilling qualifying session around the 2.5-mile superspeedway.</strong></p> <p>Each participating driver completed two laps throughout the season in a bid to qualify for the 200-lap race, with their average speed across both laps dictating the overall classification.</p> <p>As the session drew to a conclusion Andretti Autosport team-mates Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sato were the last three drivers to complete their laps, with many tipping the outfit to be extremely competitive.</p> <p>However, Andretti suffered a poor run after a mistake during his warm-up lap, while Hunter-Reay was prevented from translating his superb pace in practice earlier in the day after he lost control of his car at Turn 3 and slammed into the wall.</p> <p>Hunter-Reay was evaluated by IndyCar medical officials after his crash and has been transported to a local hospital for further checks.</p> <p>Despite these events Sato remained calm and collected, and after the short delay following Hunter-Reay&rsquo;s incident wasted no time in taking to the track and posting an average lap time of 219.639mph to secure his second pole of the season after Detroit.</p> <p>Pagenaud was therefore forced to settle for second on the grid, after the Frenchman surprised many by slotting into provisional pole position during his qualifying run.</p> <p>Charlie Kimball will start from P3 for Chip Ganassi Racing, after yet another impressive display of pace from the 32-year-old on an oval.</p> <p>Tony Kanaan was also on fine form for Ganassi, with the Brazilian veteran keeping team-mate Kimball company on the second row in fourth.</p> <p>Will Power managed to improve massively after an uninspiring start to the weekend in practice earlier in the day, with the 2014 champion set to start from P5 on the grid.&nbsp;</p> <p>Alexander Rossi was the only other Andretti Autosport racer who managed to qualify towards the sharp end of the order, with the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner settling for sixth.</p> <p>Graham Rahal was one of the luckiest drivers on the grid during qualifying, after a right-rear puncture was discovered on his car shortly after the completion of his two laps.&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite this puncture Rahal managed to complete his run without incident, and will line-up P7 on the grid for RLL Racing.</p> <p>Gabby Chaves once again impressed many with Harding Racing, as the newest team to the IndyCar grid managed to raise eyebrows by out-qualifying the likes of Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe in only its third race, with Chaves occupying eighth on the grid.</p> <p>Four-time champion Dixon and former Formula 1 racer Max Chilton rounded out the top 10, with Dixon in particular completing the first run at the start of the session.</p> <p>Further down the order Ed Carpenter was unable to partake in the session, with the team owner missing the technical inspection line despite his team repairing his car after his incident in practice.</p> <p>Carpenter will be joined at the back of the grid by Helio Castroneves and Hunter-Reay, with both drivers making contact with the barriers.</p> <p>Castroneves lost control of his Penske at Turn 1 on his first lap, slamming into the wall and preventing him from completing an official qualifying run.</p> <p>Points leader Josef Newgarden will start from a low-key 14th place.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15622http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15622Ryan Hunter-Reay fastest after opening practice at PoconoSat, 19 Aug 2017 14:51:21 GMT<p><strong>Ryan Hunter-Reay has ended the first practice session at the Pocono Raceway fastest for Andretti Autosport, after an intriguing start to the ABC Supply 500 race weekend around the 2.5-mile &ldquo;Tricky Triangle&rdquo;.</strong></p> <p>The opening session ran completely incident-free for the first hour before three late caution periods disrupted proceedings and resulted in an extra seven minutes being added to the session to enable the drivers to finalise their preparations for qualifying later in the day.</p> <p>After over an hour of uninterrupted action a track inspection was required due to debris, and shortly afterwards Ed Carpenter lost control of his car at the final corner and slammed into the retaining wall.&nbsp;</p> <p>With only a handful of minutes remaining the third and final caution period was caused when rookie Ed Jones spun at Turn 2 and lightly brushed the wall with the front of his car, causing minor front-wing damage and prematurely ending his session.</p> <p>Due largely to the interrupted nature at the end of the session the times improved drastically as the drivers returned to the track on lower fuel levels, with reigning champion Simon Pagenaud slotting into P2 during the final minutes of track action.</p> <p>Tony Kanaan was third fastest for Chip Ganassi Racing, after a productive start to the weekend for the outfit.</p> <p>Marco Andretti sat atop the classification for the majority of the session, but was usurped during the latter minutes and was therefore forced to settle for fourth after the numerous late improvements.</p> <p>Four-time champion Scott Dixon was P5 ahead of reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato, with Andretti Autosport in particular performing well with all four drivers comfortably within the top ten.</p> <p>Alexander Rossi was seventh for Andretti Herta Autosport, as Honda power took control of proceedings with only three Chevrolet-powered drivers breaking into the top ten.</p> <p>Graham Rahal was P8 ahead of Brazilian veteran Helio Castroneves, with the Penske racer in particular producing the first timed lap of the extended practice session earlier in the day.</p> <p>Gabby Chaves rounded out the top ten for Harding Racing, with the rookie outfit competing in only their third IndyCar race after making their debut at the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the year.</p> <p>Despite the team&rsquo;s lack of track action in relation to the rest of the field Chaves looked thoroughly at home around the 2.5-mile oval, as Harding Racing continue to pursue a full-time grid slot for 2018.</p> <p>Further down the order Will Power was a lowly P18 for Penske, behind the likes of Carlos Munoz and Esteban Gutierrez.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15607http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15607Sebastien Bourdais cleared to make IndyCar returnThu, 17 Aug 2017 08:47:14 GMT<p>Sebastien Bourdais has been given the all clear to make a return to IndyCar racing, after a final check-up by medical chiefs.</p> <p>The French driver sustained fractures to his pelvis and right hip in a high-speed accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 in May.</p> <p>The Dale Coyne Racing driver looked set to be ruled out for the rest of the 2017 IndyCar season, but he has made a quicker recovery than expected.</p> <p>Bourdais recently returned to the wheel of a car, completing an IndyCar test at Mid-Ohio and managing 80 laps over the course of the day.</p> <p>He was evaluated by IndyCar&rsquo;s orthopaedic consultant on Tuesday in Indianapolis and was given clearance to make a racing return.</p> <p>It has yet to be confirmed when Bourdais will return to racing, with four rounds remaining in the 2017 season.</p> <p>Bourdais was replaced by James Davison for the Indy 500, with ex-F1 racer Esteban Gutierrez and Tristan Vautier stepping into the No.18 car while he has recovered.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15605http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15605SPM gives Sebastian Saavedra nod for Pocono, Gateway roundsWed, 16 Aug 2017 16:14:44 GMT<p>Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will field Sebastian Saavedra in the No. 7 car for the next two rounds of the IndyCar Series, following the departure of Mikhail Aleshin.</p> <p>SPM confirmed last weekend that it had mutually agreed with Aleshin to bring his IndyCar campaign to a premature end, enabling the Russian to focus on his nascent LMP1 project.</p> <p>SPM handed Saavedra an outing at the recent Toronto round, in place of Aleshin, and he will climb back into the cockpit at Pocono and Gateway.</p> <p>Saavedra has started 63 IndyCar races since making his debut in 2010, though has not competed full-time in the championship since 2014.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s another late call to jump in, but I take it with pride after a promising start of our relationship in Toronto,&rdquo; said the Colombian, who will link up with James Hinchcliffe at the team..</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m looking forward to a challenging event as the Tricky Triangle can be, and support Hinchcliffe in his pursuit of championship points.&rdquo;</p> <p>SPM has not named Aleshin&rsquo;s replacement for the final two events at Watkins Glen and Sonoma.</p> <p>Saavedra has taken four top 10 finishes during his time in the championship.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15588http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15588Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Mikhail Aleshin 'mutually agree' to part waysSun, 13 Aug 2017 09:28:01 GMT<p>Mikhail Aleshin will not compete for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the remainder of the 2017 IndyCar season after mutually agreeing to split.</p> <p>Russian driver Aleshin has made 46 IndyCar starts so far, all with SPM, after making his debut in 2014 and has scored two podiums so far.</p> <p>Aleshin secured his best championship finish last season with 15th place, and is currently 16th in this year&rsquo;s standings.</p> <p>He missed practice at Road America due to visa issues and did not take part in the Toronto round, being replaced by Sebastian Saavedra.</p> <p>Aleshin returned to SPM for the Mid-Ohio round, but it has now been announced that he has parted ways with the team.</p> <p>A statement from SPM said: &quot;Mikhail Aleshin, the Russian SMP Racing program driver, will not be returning to the No. 7 Honda for the remainder of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.</p> <p>&ldquo;Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and SMP Racing have mutually agreed that the Russian driver will focus on the design and development of the new BR1 LMP1 car.&rdquo;</p> <p>The IndyCar team has yet to announce a replacement for Aleshin, with four race weekends remaining on the 2017 calendar.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15537http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15537Video: Watch the 2017 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio in full Thu, 03 Aug 2017 16:17:44 GMT<p>IndyCar has released the full video of last weekend&rsquo;s 2017 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, which saw Josef Newgarden beat Penske team-mate Will Power to victory.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15524http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15524Photos: IndyCar's road course bodykit hits the trackTue, 01 Aug 2017 21:09:09 GMT<p>IndyCar debuted the road course version of it&#39;s new-for-2018 universal bodykit on Tuesday during testing at Mid-Ohio.</p> <p>The superspeedway bodykit got its first official test last week at the&nbsp;Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Juan Pablo Montoya and Oriol Servia behind the wheel, with <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15416">both giving a positive review</a>.</p> <p>On Tuesday the road course kit, which will also be used on short ovals and street circuits, made its on-track debut, with both a&nbsp;Honda and Chevrolet-powered car&nbsp;racking up&nbsp;the miles, again with Montoya and Servia taking control.</p> <p><strong>Photos of the road course kit from Mid-Ohio</strong></p> <p><img alt="" height="481" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/DGLEeDhVoAAawho.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="440" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/04CJ2626A.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="441" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/04CJ2601A.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="440" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/04CJ2379A.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="440" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/04CJ2415.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="440" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/04CJ2560A.jpg" width="800" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15503http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15503Josef Newgarden takes dominant victory at Mid-OhioSun, 30 Jul 2017 21:56:57 GMT<p><strong>Josef Newgarden has stormed to a dominant victory at the Honda Indy 200 around the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with the Penske racer assuming the lead in the drivers&rsquo; championship by seven points to team-mate Helio Castroneves.</strong></p> <p>Despite starting from second position Newgarden looked feisty from the green flag, storming up the inside of team-mate and pole sitter Will Power at Turn 4 during the early stages of the race.</p> <p>From there Newgarden was in a class of his own, only losing the lead during the three rounds of pit-stops to Power and Graham Rahal.</p> <p>Although Power started from pole position he was forced to settle for P2, just over five seconds adrift of Newgarden.</p> <p>The 2014 champion battled with Rahal throughout the majority of the race after losing the lead, with Rahal initially performing the undercut on the Penske racer after the first round of pit-stops.</p> <p>However, Power soon muscled his way back up to P2 and managed to defend heavily at several stages in the race to keep track position.&nbsp;</p> <p>Rahal eventually ended the race just over a second behind Power in P3, narrowly ahead of reigning champion Simon Pagenaud who enjoyed a competitive race despite starting from P7.</p> <p>Takuma Sato could only manage fifth after starting from P3, with the reigning Indianapolis 500 winner initially losing out to Rahal during the early stages of the race before then losing a position to Pagenaud in the pits.</p> <p>Alexander Rossi was P6 for Andretti Herta Autosport, after an action-packed race which saw him controversially make contact with team-mate Ryan Hunter-Reay.</p> <p>The 2012 champion was tipped into a spin and lost several key positions, however the race stewards elected to take no action.</p> <p>Castroneves was seventh for Penske, with the Brazilian veteran remaining well within the title fight despite not troubling the leaders.</p> <p>Meanwhile Hunter-Reay managed to reclaim several positions after his spin to finish a respectable P8, ahead of four-time champion Scott Dixon.</p> <p>The Ganassi racer entered the weekend as the championship leader, but endured a race to forget with handling issues and pit-stop woes forcing him to settle for damage limitation in ninth.</p> <p>Conor Daly rounded out the top ten for A.J. Foyt Racing, after a late move on James Hinchcliffe at Turn 4.</p> <p>The race was interrupted by only one caution period, after rookie Ed Jones lost control of his car on the exit of Turn 9 and spun onto the grass.</p> <p>As ever the Holmatro Safety Team were immediately on the scene, re-starting the Dubai-born British racer and enabling him to finish the race in last position, albeit two laps off the leaders.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15483http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15483Will Power pips team-mate Josef Newgarden to Mid-Ohio pole Sat, 29 Jul 2017 19:34:38 GMT<p><strong>Will Power has beaten Penske team-mate Josef Newgarden to pole for the Honda Indy 200, after a busy qualifying session around the tricky Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.</strong></p> <p>As qualifying progressed the battle between Honda and Chevrolet intensified, with Simon Pagenaud and Graham Rahal sharing the spoils after the two groups in the first round of qualifying.&nbsp;</p> <p>Although Rahal managed to replicate his pace at the top during the second round, it wasn&rsquo;t enough to question Penske&rsquo;s authority in the all-important Firestone Fast Six.</p> <p>Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato was the fastest Honda-powered driver overall in P3 for Andretti Autosport, with the Japanese racer&rsquo;s weekend improving steadily with each session.</p> <p>After topping his group in the first round and the second round overall Rahal was forced to settle for fourth after a busy end to qualifying, with the local hero just ahead of IndyCar veteran Helio Castroneves.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Brazilian racer was the first driver to take to the track at the start of the final segment, but despite producing the initial benchmark he fell through the order towards the end.</p> <p>Championship leader Scott Dixon rounded out the Firestone Fast Six in P6 for Chip Ganassi Racing, with the four-time champion creating a mouth-watering third row alongside championship rival Castroneves.</p> <p>Reigning champion Pagenaud will line-up seventh for the 90-lap race, after the Frenchman was eliminated from the second round of qualifying after being unable to improve and book a place in the last part of qualifying.</p> <p>James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi could only manage P8 and P9 respectively, with Ryan Hunter-Reay rounding out the top ten after all three drivers were also unable to progress any further than the second round.</p> <p>Further down the order Marco Andretti once again endured a frustrating qualifying session, with the Andretti Autosport racer initially rising to the top of his group before falling down the order and being eliminated, qualifying a lowly P14 on the grid.</p> <p>During the first group in round one Tony Kanaan was penalised after causing a local yellow and impeding several drivers, with race control deleting his lap time which initially saw him progress to round two.</p> <p>However, once his time had been deleted the Brazilian veteran found himself well within the drop zone, with Conor Daly promoted to the next round in his place.</p> <p>Kanaan will start the race from P17 after his misdemeanour, with the back row consisting of Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15474http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15474Alexander Rossi fastest in interrupted final practice at Mid-OhioSat, 29 Jul 2017 15:04:12 GMT<p><strong>Alexander Rossi has ended&nbsp;final practice for the Honda Indy 200 fastest at Mid-Ohio, after an interrupted session which was plagued by two red flag delays.</strong></p> <p>After mixed weather conditions for the opening two practice sessions on Friday the drivers were greeted with sunshine ahead of their final chance to prepare for qualifying later in the day, with the drivers wasting no time and immediately taking to the track at the start of the session.</p> <p>Takuma Sato was second fastest for Andretti Autosport, as Honda locked-out the top four positions after a very competitive session.</p> <p>The reigning Indianapolis 500 winner was followed by Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, with the Brazilian veteran in particular improving drastically after a very uncompetitive start to the weekend.</p> <p>Josef Newgarden was the fastest Chevrolet-powered driver in P4 for Penske, ahead of team-mate and reigning champion Simon Pagenaud.</p> <p>After a relatively productive start to the weekend Penske seemed to struggle during the final 45 minutes of practice, with Will Power bringing out the first red flag delay after running out of fuel during the early stages of the session.</p> <p>The 2014 champion managed to return to the pits with assistance from the Holmatro Safety Team, however he was unable to trouble the top of the order after rejoining the action and could only manage P19 overall.</p> <p>Ryan Hunter-Reay remained competitive after topping the second practice session earlier in the weekend, with the 2012 champion ending the session seventh for Andretti Autosport.</p> <p>James Hinchcliffe was P8 ahead of Graham Rahal, with Helio Castroneves rounding out the top ten for Penske.</p> <p>The IndyCar veteran initially ran as high as P1 throughout the session, but several late improvements from Honda-powered drivers demoted him down the order.</p> <p>The second red flag delay arrived only minutes before the end of the session, as Mikhail Aleshin lost control of his car at Turn 11 and slammed into the retaining tyre barrier, lightly damaging the rear of his car.</p> <p>This caused the session to come to a conclusion under red flag conditions, cementing Rossi&rsquo;s place at the top of the order.</p> <p>Further down the order A.J. Foyt Racing&rsquo;s miserable weekend continued, with Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz P18 and P21 respectively, with J.R. Hildebrand also enduring a far from perfect session in P20 for Ed Carpenter Racing.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15460http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15460Ryan Hunter-Reay fastest in rain-affected second practice at Mid-OhioFri, 28 Jul 2017 19:28:46 GMT<p><strong>Ryan Hunter-Reay has ended second practice fastest ahead of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, with light rain interrupting the 45-minute session.</strong></p> <p>Proceedings got underway in overcast but dry conditions, much like the opening practice session earlier in the day, with the times immediately tumbling below Simon Pagenaud&rsquo;s benchmark from the first session.</p> <p>Josef Newgarden ended the session second for Penske, with the Chevrolet-powered outfit&rsquo;s dominance from the first session under threat by the likes of Andretti Autosport and Chip Ganassi Racing.</p> <p>Championship leader Scott Dixon managed P3 for Chip Ganassi Racing, with the four-time champion improving somewhat from his benchmark earlier in the day during practice one.</p> <p>Reigning champion Pagenaud was a relatively competitive fourth for Penske, with the Frenchman initially trading the top spot with team-mate Newgarden throughout the early stages of the session.</p> <p>Roughly halfway through proceedings light rain struck the 2.258-mile road course, creating a tricky situation where it was almost too damp for dry tyres and yet way too dry for wet tyres.</p> <p>Initially the whole field returned to the safety of the pits, with dry weather forecast for the remainder of the weekend and therefore nothing to be gained by the teams by running in the inclement weather conditions.</p> <p>However, as the rain slowly eased several drivers braved the elements on dry weather tyres, including Graham Rahal and Mikhail Aleshin, before the rest of the field followed to create a busy end to the session.</p> <p>Alexander Rossi rounded out the top five for Andretti Herta Autosport, ahead of 2014 champion Will Power.</p> <p>The Penske racer endured a far from perfect session, running extensively wide at Turn 2 and skipping through the gravel.</p> <p>Fortunately Power was able to keep his car away from the barriers and rejoin the action, as the session progressed without any major delays.</p> <p>Marco Andretti was P7 for Andretti Autosport, ahead of Graham Rahal as Honda power continued to jostle within the top ten with rival manufacturer Chevrolet.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top ten, with both drivers momentarily rising to the top throughout the busy session.</p> <p>Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato was the only Andretti Autosport racer outside the top ten in P11, ahead of rookie Ed Jones.</p> <p>Further down the order IndyCar veteran Tony Kanaan could only manage P18, ahead of former Formula 1 racer Esteban Gutierrez in P19.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15449http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15449Simon Pagenaud tops opening practice at Mid-OhioFri, 28 Jul 2017 15:12:36 GMT<p><strong>Simon Pagenaud has ended the opening practice session ahead of the Honda Indy 200 fastest around the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, as preparations got underway ahead of the 90-lap race.</strong></p> <p>The reigning champion was closely followed by Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti, with both Honda-powered drivers completing late improvements to split the Penskes just as the chequered flag fell.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves was therefore demoted to P4 during the final seconds of the session, with the Brazilian veteran running as high as P1 at several stages throughout the 45-minute practice session.</p> <p>Will Power was fifth for Penske, with the Chevrolet-powered outfit enjoying a productive start to the weekend.&nbsp;</p> <p>The 2014 champion ended proceedings just ahead of former Formula 1 racer Max Chilton, who could only manage P7 despite also running as high as P1 during the early stages of the session.</p> <p>Josef Newgarden was the lowest placed Penske racer in seventh, ahead of 2012 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.</p> <p>Championship leader Scott Dixon fell through the order during the latter stages of the session, eventually ending P9 for Chip Ganassi Racing.</p> <p>Dixon will be looking to question Penske&rsquo;s authority later in the weekend, with the four-time champion only three points ahead of Castroneves in the drivers&rsquo; championship.</p> <p>Spencer Pigot rounded out the top ten for Ed Carpenter Racing, ahead of Alexander Rossi, James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin, the latter making a return to the series after being replaced by Sebastian Saavedra last time out in Toronto.</p> <p>Further down the order former F1 racer Esteban Gutierrez suffered a tough start to the weekend for Dale Coyne Racing, with the IndyCar rookie making a mistake at Turn 2 before then aggravating Castroneves later in the session by blocking the Penske racer.</p> <p>Apart from Gutierrez&rsquo;s minor mistake at Turn 2 the session ran completely incident-free.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15416http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15416IndyCar drivers impressed with 2018 car after debut testWed, 26 Jul 2017 13:10:12 GMT<p>Juan Pablo Montoya and Oriol Servia were both left with a positive impression of the new 2018 IndyCar following its first test this week at the&nbsp;Indianapolis Motor Speedway.</p> <p>The duo completed more than 100 laps apiece in the two chassis fitted with the new universal oval aero kit, with one supplied by Honda and the other by Chevrolet.</p> <p>&quot;From Lap 1, it just felt at home,&quot; said the 43-year-old Servia, who has driven Indy cars since 2000. &quot;The car felt great. I was flat on it out of the pits, which just says how good the car felt right away.</p> <p>&quot;I think it&#39;s going to be a fast, good racer.&quot;</p> <p>Montoya believes the decision to have one universal aero kit will have a positive impact on the racing and was impressed with the new car.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s exciting because, for the first time in the car, it drives really, really well,&quot; added the two-time Indy 500 winner.</p> <p>&quot;I think they addressed a lot of the things and the car looks great. I think having one aero kit for everybody is great for the sport. The car looks good and it drives really good.&quot;</p> <p>IndyCar had originally scheduled two days of testing, but with everything ticked off on Tuesday&nbsp;they didn&#39;t feel it was necessary to run a second day.</p> <p>&quot;Everything we had planned to do in two days, we already accomplished in the first day,&quot; Servia added. &quot;We did lots of laps, long runs, and the car feels good. The car feels very benign.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;It just feels right and we&#39;re not having any issues or moments out there. Very consistent. My second long run, I think, was one of my most consistent runs I&#39;ve done at this track in all of my years.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15408http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15408IndyCar unveils new-for-2018 universal aero kitMon, 24 Jul 2017 21:00:44 GMT<p>IndyCar has published the first official photos of its new-for-2018 universal aero kit, previously only seen in computer generated renders.</p> <p>The new look has been described as &quot;bolder, safer and more thrilling&quot; but remains based on the&nbsp;Dallara IR-12 introduced in 2012.</p> <p>Although the new kits, an oval-specific kit and a road and temporary street circuit kit, are less complex in terms of aerodynamics, the amount of downforce generated by the underside of the car has been increased by 19 per cent, meaning&nbsp;66 per cent of the cars downforce comes from the floor.</p> <p>It&#39;s hoped that will allow for closer racing without impacting cornerning and top speeds. In fact, a simulation done by IndyCar expects an increase in the top speed at many ovals due to the cars being lighter than before.</p> <p>A number of safety improvements have also been included.&nbsp;The car features reduced front and rear-wing main planes as well as a reduction in winglets and the such, decreasing the potential for debris.</p> <p>Increased side-impact protection has been added, which is now eight to ten inches wider at the driver&#39;s hips. The design has also allowed for a cockpit windscreen application, when one has been developed.</p> <p>The kits will be standard amongst all Honda and Chevrolet-powered cars.</p> <p>&quot;The [design] process started a year ago in April, and we took the input of our fans, drivers, teams, manufacturers, partners &ndash; everyone shares in this,&quot; said Jay Frye, president, INDYCAR competition and operations.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;There is a historical component to this design, and it comes with a very forward look and all the latest components. Although the design looked good on paper it looks even better in person. We couldn&rsquo;t be more excited to get this car on the track.&quot;</p> <p>The kits will undergo testing on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week at the&nbsp;Indianapolis Motor Speedway, followed by two further tests in August (Mid-Ohio and Iowa) and then one in September (Sebring).</p> <p><img alt="" height="520" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8934-11.png" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="520" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8925-1.png" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8893-1.png" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="520" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8661-1.png" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8632-1.png" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="520" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8842-1.png" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8669-1.png" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15360http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15360Josef Newgarden hails Penske strategy after Toronto IndyCar winTue, 18 Jul 2017 15:05:11 GMT<p>Josef Newgarden has praised his Penske team&rsquo;s strategy call during the Toronto IndyCar race, after winning it for the second time in his career.</p> <p>His team-mate Helio Castroneves took early control of the race, but a well-timed caution promoted Newgarden to the lead.</p> <p>Penske pitted Newgarden one lap before the caution, a strategy that also helped fellow podium finishers Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe.</p> <p>From there, he was able to control the race, feeling his car was &ldquo;very fast&rdquo;. Newgarden stayed out of trouble to take his second win of the 2017 IndyCar season.</p> <p>&quot;I think that is twice I have had good calls and got into the pits at the right time,&rdquo; he explained afterwards.</p> <p>&ldquo;Thank you to the guys and thank you to Tim (Cindric) for making that call. We got it right, but it was all about managing the race after that. I thought we had a very fast car.</p> <p>&ldquo;We got a pretty good start, and stayed out of the mayhem. Very, very happy for all of Penske, and this DeVilbiss Chevy was pretty bright, but it was pretty fast too.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am pumped for all the No. 2 car guys, they did an amazing job for Penske.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15346http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15346Josef Newgarden cruises to second Toronto IndyCar victoryMon, 17 Jul 2017 09:54:27 GMT<p>Penske driver Josef Newgarden claimed his second IndyCar victory in Toronto with a controlled performance, finishing ahead of Andretti&rsquo;s Alexander Rossi.</p> <p>Having previously won the Canadian race back in 2015, Newgarden has a good track record and was quick throughout the race, and benefitted from a well-timed caution to take the lead.</p> <p>He pitted just one lap before the caution came out, with Rossi and home favourite James Hinchcliffe &ndash; who finished third on home soil &ndash; also pulling off similar strategies.</p> <p>The yellow was for Tony Kanaan, who locked up his Chip Ganassi car and crashed into the barrier at Turn 1 around a quarter of the way through the race.</p> <p>Newgarden&rsquo;s team-mate Helio Castroneves was leading at the time after a strong opening lap, but his grip on the race loosened when he had to pit under yellow and dropped back.</p> <p>Taking over the lead, Newgarden was able to keep a consistent gap to those chasing him for the remainder of the race, and finished 1.8 seconds clear of Rossi.</p> <p>Hinchcliffe was third at his home event, while Marco Andretti showed improved form in fourth, ahead of reigning champion Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Hunter-Reay.</p> <p>Former F1 driver Max Chilton sustained a late challenge from Castroneves to secure seventh, with Graham Rahal ninth and championship leader Scott Dixon in 10th.</p> <p>He recovered from a collision with Penske&rsquo;s Will Power on the opening lap, which required Dixon to pit for repairs (before he was then awarded a drive-through) and fall to the back of the pack.</p> <p>Dixon retains his title advantage over Castroneves, but the gap has been cut to just three points.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15326http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15326Simon Pagenaud claims Honda Indy Toronto pole and lap recordSat, 15 Jul 2017 21:52:47 GMT<p>Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud claimed his first pole position of the year, taking top honours on Saturday for the Honda Indy Toronto race, setting a new lap record in the process.</p> <p>Pagenaud&#39;s 58.9124 second lap with an average speed of 109.138mph bettered the previous lap record around the temporary 11-turn street circuit by just over eight-tenths, which was set by&nbsp;Will Power in 2016.</p> <p>It&#39;s&nbsp;Pagenaud&#39;s tenth career pole and&nbsp;Team Penske&#39;s eighth this season.</p> <p>Graham Rahal qualified second for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with a lap of 59.2245 seconds (108.563 mph), three-tenths adrift of pole.</p> <p>A pair of Pagenaud&rsquo;s team-mates at Team Penske, Helio Castroneves and Power, locked up the second row in qualifying. Castroneves was third fastest in the #3 car with defending race winner Power fourth in the #12.</p> <p>Championship leader Scott Dixon was fifth with a time of 59.7970 seconds. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has advanced to the Firestone Fast Six, the third and final round of knockout qualifying, at every road- and street-course race where it has been contested this season.</p> <p>The final spot in the Firestone Fast Six went to hometown favorite James Hinchcliffe, who equaled his best Toronto qualifying effort of sixth with a lap of 1:00.14145&nbsp;in the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda.</p> <p>Two incidents in earlier qualifying rounds affected drivers Esteban Gutierrez and JR Hildebrand.</p> <p>Rookie Gutierrez will start last in the 21-car field after he made hard contact with the wall at the exit of Turn 11 at the conclusion of Segment 1, Group 1 qualifying. The Dale Coyne Racing entry sustained significant right-side and rear damage in the incident.</p> <p>Hildebrand slid into the wall at the exit of Turn 8 in Segment 2 qualifying, when his car jumped the curb on the inside of the corner and slid straight into the barrier. The Ed Carpenter Racing driver will start 12th in Sunday&rsquo;s race.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.imscdn.com/indycar_media/documents/2017-07-15/07-15-17%20Toronto%20unofficial%20qual.pdf">Click here</a> for full qualifying results.</em></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15282http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15282Sebastian Saavedra replaces Mikhail Aleshin at Schmidt Peterson for TorontoThu, 13 Jul 2017 22:37:39 GMT<p>IndyCar Series veteran Sebastian Saavedra will return to the wheel with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports this weekend, driving the team&rsquo;s No. 7 car at the Honda Indy Toronto race.</p> <p>Saavedra&#39;s career stretches back to 2010 with 62 appearances in the series, including this year&rsquo;s Indianapolis 500, where he finished 15th for Juncos Racing.</p> <p>Saavedra replaces Mikhail Aleshin, who will sit out the race for an unspecified reason. It follows the Russian&#39;s visa issues last month which stopped him from taking part in the opening day of practice for the Kohler GP.</p> <p>The 27-year-old will be reunited this weekend with Blair Perschbacher, who was Saavedra&#39;s race engineer in Indy Lights. The duo teamed up to win the Indy Lights race at Toronto in 2010 with Andretti Autosport. Saavedra also finished second in the 2012 Indy Lights race at Toronto.</p> <p>Saavedra&rsquo;s last Verizon IndyCar Series race on a temporary street course came at Toronto in 2015 when he drove for Chip Ganassi Racing and finished 16th. The Colombian&#39;s best finish on a street course was eighth place at Baltimore in 2013, when he drove for Dragon Racing.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15239http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15239Helio Castroneves returns to victory lane at IowaMon, 10 Jul 2017 00:15:49 GMT<p><strong>Helio Castroneves has returned to victory lane for the first time in three years at the Iowa Corn 300, after the Brazilian veteran led 217 of the 300-lap race around the short oval to end his victory drought and pick up Penske&rsquo;s first win at Iowa.</strong></p> <p>After starting on the second row of the grid Castroneves wasted no time in rising to the front, overtaking J.R. Hildebrand and team-mate Will Power to take the lead during the early stages of the race.</p> <p>Despite the early lead Castroneves endured a race long battle with Hildebrand and Power, eventually pulling away during the final few laps to convincingly pick up his 30th career victory.</p> <p>Hildebrand was forced to settle for P2 despite a strong display at the front of the pack, equalling his best career result.</p> <p>Iowa expert Ryan Hunter-Reay managed to scythe through the order from P15 on the grid to finish third for Andretti Autosport, with the 2012 champion picking up considerable ground during the pit-stops under caution in particular.</p> <p>Initial pole sitter Will Power was forced to settle for P4, after being overshadowed by team-mate Castroneves throughout the majority of the race.</p> <p>Graham Rahal also enjoyed a competitive race for RLL Racing, rising up from P10 on the grid to come home a respectable fifth ahead of Josef Newgarden.</p> <p>Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud was P7 for Penske, ahead of four-time champion Scott Dixon who also managed to make ground after a poor qualifying performance.</p> <p>Dixon managed to maintain his championship lead despite a far from perfect race weekend, with Castroneves now only eighth points adrift in second in the drivers&rsquo; championship.</p> <p>Tony Kanaan and James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top ten, with Kanaan in particular struggling somewhat during the early stages of the race with the handling of his Ganassi car.</p> <p>Ed Carpenter could only manage P12, despite a competitive qualifying performance and a strong start to the race.</p> <p>Former Formula 1 racer Esteban Gutierrez was impressive on his oval debut, avoiding any on-track skirmishes and coming home a respectable P13 for Dale Coyne Racing,</p> <p>The race was interrupted by four full course cautions and even a short red flag delay after a brief and very light sprinkle of rain fell over the Iowa Speedway.</p> <p>Mikhail Aleshin brought out the first full course caution of the afternoon, after the Russian racer spun into the barrier to become the first retirement.</p> <p>Carlos Munoz and Conor Daly suffered identical issues on their way to retirement, with both drivers grazing the wall in separate incidents and then limping back to the pits.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15225http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15225Simon Pagenaud ends final practice fastest at IowaSun, 09 Jul 2017 00:13:10 GMT<p><strong>Simon Pagenaud has ended final practice fastest ahead of the Iowa Corn 300, with Chevrolet power once again dominating at the sharp end of the order around the Iowa Speedway.</strong></p> <p>The reigning champion was closely followed by Ed Carpenter, with the team owner enjoying a thoroughly productive day after ending each session within the top four.</p> <p>Pole sitter Will Power was P3 for Penske, as the attention of the teams and drivers turned to race simulations during the final 30 minutes of track action before the 300-lap race on Sunday.</p> <p>Championship leader Scott Dixon was fourth for Chip Ganassi Racing, with the four-time champion finally finding some pace after a rather lacklustre start to the weekend.</p> <p>During practice one and the all-important qualifying session Dixon was unable to even break into the top ten, eventually qualifying a lowly P17 for the race.</p> <p>Josef Newgarden was P5 for Penske, with the Barber race winner also enduring a tough qualifying session in P16, despite ending the first practice session fastest overall.</p> <p>Tony Kanaan and Graham Rahal were sixth and seventh respectively, with many drivers running in close proximity of each other in a bid to simulate racing conditions around the tricky short oval.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves was P8 for Penske, with rumours circulating within the paddock that this may well be the Brazilian veteran&rsquo;s final IndyCar season.</p> <p>Mikhail Aleshin and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top ten, in a session which ran incident-free despite a short caution delay for a track inspection.</p> <p>Esteban Gutierrez ended proceedings P14 for Dale Coyne Racing, just ahead of team-mate Ed Jones as the former Formula 1 racer continues to acclimatise to oval racing.</p> <p>Further down the order Ryan Hunter-Reay was a disappointing P16, with the three-time Iowa race winner unable to find any pace behind the wheel of his Andretti Autosport machine.</p> <p>Meanwhile Carlos Munoz managed to return to the track after his minor incident during qualifying, with the Columbian racer ending the session P17 for A.J. Foyt Racing.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15224http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15224Will Power pips J.R. Hildebrand to Iowa poleSat, 08 Jul 2017 20:19:46 GMT<p><b>Will Power has pipped J.R. Hildebrand to pole position for the Iowa Corn 300, with the Penske racer rising to the top in dominant style towards the end of the session.</b></p> <p>The Penske racer was the last driver to take to the Iowa Speedway during the all-important qualifying session, and eased to the top with a 185.210mph two-lap average.</p> <p>Hildebrand, who masterfully managed to move on from his shunt in practice earlier in the day, was forced to settle for P2 for Ed Carpenter Racing.</p> <p>Initially it looked as though Hildebrand was on course to secure his maiden pole position, after producing a very impressive 183.811mph two-lap average.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves qualified an impressive P3 for Penske, with the Brazilian racer still hunting for his first victory since 2014.</p> <p>Ed Carpenter was P4 for Ed Carpenter Racing, concluding a very productive session for the team owner with both cars inside the top four.</p> <p>Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato was the fastest Honda-powered driver in P5 for Andretti Autosport, with the Japanese racer displaying his fondness for the short oval with a competitive qualifying performance.</p> <p>Mikhail Aleshin and Tony Kanaan were sixth and seventh respectively, ahead of rookie Ed Jones who once again shone for Dale Coyne Racing.</p> <p>The Dubai-born British racer momentarily sat on provisional pole position during the early stages of the session, before falling down the order as the track conditions improved.</p> <p>James Hinchcliffe and reigning champion Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top ten, with the Frenchman in particular the first driver to take to the track at the start of the session.</p> <p>Iowa expert Ryan Hunter-Reay was unable to trouble the sharp end of the order with Andretti Autosport, with the 2012 champion only managing P15.</p> <p>Meanwhile championship leader Scott Dixon qualified way down in P17, with the Ganassi racer struggling somewhat with a 180.302mph average at the start of the session.</p> <p>Carlos Munoz was the only driver unable to set a time, with the Columbian racer spinning at Turn 2 on his first lap and making very light contact with the barrier.</p> <p>Although Munoz managed to safely return to the pits with only minor rear-wing damage, he was unable to return to the track and will therefore start the race from last position.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15222http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15222Josef Newgarden leads Penske 1-2-3 after opening practice at IowaSat, 08 Jul 2017 16:54:31 GMT<p>Josef Newgarden has topped the opening practice session ahead of the Iowa Corn 300, leading a Penske 1-2-3 with a 185.609mph lap after an eventful start to the weekend around the Iowa Speedway.</p> <p>The drivers were naturally eager to take to the short 0.894-mile oval at the start of the session, with only a limited amount of track action available before qualifying and the all-important 300-lap race.</p> <p>Will Power was a close second for Penske, as Chevrolet power enjoyed a productive start to proceedings at the sharp end of the order.</p> <p>Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud was P3 for Penske, with the Frenchman moving up the order during the latter stages of the session, along with team-mates Newgarden and Power.</p> <p>Ed Carpenter was fourth fastest for Ed Carpenter Racing, with the team owner sitting at the top of proceedings throughout the majority of the session, only to be usurped by the Penskes during the final few minutes of track action.</p> <p>Marco Andretti was the fastest Honda-powered racer for Andretti Autosport in P5, ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing&rsquo;s Tony Kanaan.</p> <p>Mikhail Aleshin was seventh for SPM Racing, with the Russian racer enjoying a productive start to the day towards the top of the time sheets behind Carpenter.</p> <p>Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe were P8 and P9 respectively, ahead of Graham Rahal who rounded out the top ten for RLL Racing.</p> <p>The session was plagued by three caution periods, the first two for track inspections, before J.R. Hildebrand spun on the exit of Turn 2 and made contact with the barrier.</p> <p>Upon contact with the barrier Hildebrand&rsquo;s steering wheel was thrown into the air, bouncing down the track adjacent to the car.</p> <p>Despite the relatively heavy impact Hildebrand gingerly extracted himself from the car, with the ever-efficient Holmatro Safety Team at his side.</p> <p>Meanwhile Scott Dixon was way down the order in P16, with the championship leader penalised for several misdemeanours last time out at Road America during the warm-up session and therefore prevented from taking part in the final 20 minutes of practice one at Iowa.</p> <p>Esteban Gutierrez could only manage P19 for Dale Coyne Racing, with the former Formula 1 racer making his official oval race weekend debut in the #18 car in place of Sebastien Bourdais who is still recovering from injuries sustained during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15143http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15143Honda identifies cause of several IndyCar engine failuresSat, 01 Jul 2017 21:44:56 GMT<p>Honda says it has identified the cause of several IndyCar engine failures and will put a fix in place to ensure it doesn&#39;t remain a recurring issue this season.</p> <p>Honda has suffered a spate of failures this season, including three during the Indianapolis 500 which cost Formula 1&#39;s Fernando Alonso a shot at victory.</p> <p>Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development, said on Saturday that they had pinpointed the problem, but refused to specify exactly what had failed, but said a fix was in place and it would be rolled out gradually.</p> <p>&quot;There is no plan right now to do a wholesale change of our engines,&quot; he told the official IndyCar website. &quot;Right now, it looks like [the failure] happens in about one out of every eight engines. If it does fail, it usually fails early, so when that problem arises, it shows up pretty quick.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Our expectations are that once we get the engines in the spares pool, we will continue using the engines that are in the car throughout the remainder of their mileage. Then those will be replaced with new engines.&quot;</p> <p>A number of engines will be replaced for this weekend&#39;s&nbsp;Iowa Speedway race with the majority of drivers having the fix in place at the following race weekend.</p> <p>Speaking about the Indy 500 failures in particular, St. Cyr said they took a risk in running the engines when they knew an issue existed &ndash; although not specifically which part &ndash;&nbsp;and said it was a tradeoff they had to make.</p> <p>&quot;When you make more horsepower, you do expose parts to more stresses. That&#39;s the fundamental thing about it. In this particular case, what it did is it reduced our safety factor on that particular part.</p> <p>&quot;In general, our main goal is to win the Indy 500. We knew that even if we ran the engines at full power, the majority of our engines were going to make it. In that case, we were willing to make that tradeoff. If it was going to fail every engine, then maybe not.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Every circumstance is different, but in this case, we were willing to make that call. You&#39;re at risk every year.&quot;</p> <p>Honda did still win the event with Japanese driver Takuma Sato and the Andretti Autosport team.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15098http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15098Scott Dixon grabs his first Road America victoryMon, 26 Jun 2017 09:13:12 GMT<p>Seven different drivers had taken victory in 2017, but no-one could deny that the eighth different driver to enter Victory Lane was unworthy of their place on that hallowed strip of Tarmac. Scott Dixon took to the Turn 5 run-off after 55 frenetic laps at Road America to complete donuts in the #9 CGR machine, displaying his delight at bringing his and Chip Ganassi Racing&rsquo;s lengthy win drought to an end, brilliantly defeating the Penske steamroller, who had previously dominated at the verdant venue.</p> <p>And it was no less than he deserved, after a run of misfortune, near-misses, and of course, that horrifying aerial accident at the Indianapolis 500. Plus for Dixon, a flawless drive at Road America enabled him to extend his lead in the championship, as the title race enters the business phase of the season.&nbsp;</p> <p>From the start this had been Penske&rsquo;s race to lose, and lose it they did. H&eacute;lio Castroneves brought the field up the hill to the green flag, with stable mates Will Power, Josef Newgarden, and Simon Pagenaud following him in the variously liveried Dallara DW12s.&nbsp;</p> <p>Dixon immediately leapt ahead of Pagenaud and tried his hand at demoting Power, who had by now lost out on second position to Newgarden, as pole man Castroneves streaked clear up front. The Kiwi remained glued to the rear of the Aussie and then attempted to get by a few laps later, but found his path was blocked. So his team extended his first stint which enabled him to jump clear.</p> <p>Third place was now his, while Castroneves and Newgarden continued to circulate at the head of the field, the young American having briefly taken the lead through dint of stopping a lap later. Castroneves, though, on warmed-up tyres, duly swept back to the front.&nbsp;</p> <p>But Newgarden was not to be denied and a few laps later he was almost attached to the rear of his team-mate&rsquo;s car as they glided around the picturesque venue, cheered on by a near full house of screaming fans. The on lap 20, Newgarden had a run along the main straight and boldly chose the outside line, around the corner to snatch the lead, as he quickly put air between himself and his opponent. &nbsp;</p> <p>Castroneves, as with the first round of stops, came in before his rivals during the second phase, while leader Newgarden and third-placed Dixon, who had closed in on Castroneves, came in one lap later. Shortly after they made their respective stops, the first caution period was activated after Takuma Sato drifted wide through Turn 11 and hit the wall. Fortunately for the Indianapolis 500 winner, the contact was minor, and he bounced across the grass before coming to a halt. The Holmatro Safety Crew were quickly with the stricken Sato and fired him up, ready to go again.</p> <p>But crucially, the caution period had eradicated Newgarden&rsquo;s advantage, his predicament now exacerbated by running the slower Black tyres as opposed to Dixon&rsquo;s Reds, as is mandatory for one phase of the race. And at the restart, Dixon got a cool and calculated run on Newgarden and drew level along the main straight, before boldly sticking&nbsp; to the outside of the turn to sweep around the Penske racer and into the lead. Newgarden saved an oversteer moment through Turn 1 but on slower tyres he was compromised, and Castroneves eventually demoted him into Turn 5.&nbsp;</p> <p>Dixon moved clear of the chasing pack before coming in for his final stop on lap 42, with Castroneves following suit, albeit by mistake. Penske had intended for him to run a lap longer. Newgarden duly inherited the lead for a lap before slotting back into second when he was serviced next time around, fending off Castroneves into Turn 5. Just as Castroneves himself turned on the defensive against Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan speared hard into the Turn 11 wall after battling with the similarly four-stopping Alexander Rossi.&nbsp;</p> <p>Kanaan carried more speed through Turn 10 and dived to the inside on the short straight, though Rossi moved across and the pair made minor contact, with the Ganassi driver losing small parts from his front wing. Kanaan held the inside for Turn 11 but in running a tighter approach he compromised his entry and slammed into the wall, his trajectory accentuated by the loss of front downforce and the array of marbles off-line.&nbsp;</p> <p>Naturally a caution period was called for Kanaan&rsquo;s car to be cleared, while the TK gathered his thoughts after a sizeable crash.&nbsp;</p> <p>The caution period bunched the field but Dixon shot off like a man possessed when the Safety Car disappeared, as Newgarden tried to get up to speed. Newgarden had more push-to-pass time available and utilised it effectively, closing the deficit to under a second, but Dixon didn&rsquo;t put a foot wrong up front, as Newgarden became increasingly ragged in pursuit. No matter how hard Newgarden tried, he was unable to displace Dixon, and the four-time champion crossed the line 0.57s clear for his 41st career victory, extending his series lead to 34 points. &nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;A lot of it was strategy, being on the right tyres at the right time, so happy, this is not a track that should be suited to us but everything went well,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not what I expected! But I&rsquo;m so pumped for the whole team.&rdquo;</p> <p>Newgarden admitted disappointment at the defeat, with his mandatory spell on the slower, black tyres coming at the wrong time.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;You can&rsquo;t predict that stuff,&rdquo; Newgarden said of the timing of the Sato-induced yellow. &ldquo;The strategy was spot on, doing what we needed to do, sometimes they fall your way, sometimes they don&rsquo;t. Dixon did a great job and they deserved their win, [but] it stings a bit.&rdquo;</p> <p>Castroneves held off Pagenaud for the final podium spot while Power completed a 2-3-4-5 for Penske.&nbsp; A good result, but frustrating after the 1-2-3-4 qualifying effort.&nbsp;</p> <p>Charlie Kimball went off-strategy to record sixth position for Ganassi, while Ed Jones and Graham Rahal both snuck past Ryan Hunter-Reay along the back stretch late on to take seventh and eighth. Rahal almost struck the rear of Hunter-Reay&rsquo;s car as he made his move but quick reactions enabled him to dive to the inside into Canada Corner, with the Andretti Autosport racer compromised by lost front wing elements. &nbsp;</p> <p>Rahal was the lead driver on a four-stop strategy, with the bulk of the pack having favoured a three-stopper, while Max Chilton&rsquo;s encouraging form continued as he took ninth position, leaving Mikhail Aleshin, who had run through the gravel at Turn 5 prior to the last caution period, completing the top 10. It was a strong recovery for Aleshin, who had missed Friday&rsquo;s practice sessions after immigration issues delayed his entry into the country.&nbsp;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15070http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15070Video: Scott Dixon meets concerned IndyCar fan LucySat, 24 Jun 2017 08:54:35 GMT<p id="eow-description">Scott Dixon visits a young fan who wrote him a letter after his accident at Indianapolis.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15054http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15054Robert Wickens called-up to replace Mikhail Aleshin after visa issuesFri, 23 Jun 2017 08:37:01 GMT<p>Mercedes DTM racer Robert Wickens has been drafted in to replace&nbsp;Schmidt Peterson&#39;s Mikhail Aleshin for Friday&#39;s practice sessions at Road America following visa issues for the Russian.</p> <p>Aleshin is currently stuck in France after competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the&nbsp;SMP Racing LMP2 team. Due to immigration problems, he has been prevented from travelling back to the United States and will miss Friday&#39;s track activity.</p> <p>The team is hopeful that the problem will be resolved swiftly and Aleshin can travel back on Friday in order to take up his seat for&nbsp;the remainder of the race weekend.</p> <p>&quot;Since competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with SMP Racing last weekend, Mikhail Aleshin, driver of the No. 7 Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda in the Verizon IndyCar Series, has been unable to leave France due to immigration issues preventing him from returning to the United States,&quot; Aleshin&#39;s team said in a statement.</p> <p>&quot;The executive team at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has been working diligently on Aleshin&rsquo;s return to America to compete in this weekend&rsquo;s KOHLER Grand Prix. However, at this time, the Russian driver will not arrive to Road America in time for any on-track sessions scheduled for Friday, June 23.</p> <p>&quot;The team have elected for Canadian Robert Wickens to pilot the No. 7 car until the immigration issue is resolved.</p> <p>&quot;No further comments about Aleshin&rsquo;s immigration status will be given at this time. The team will send further communication when an update is available.&quot;</p> <p>Wickens has limited IndyCar experience having tested for the same team back in February as part of a &#39;car swap&#39; with fellow Canadian&nbsp;James Hinchcliffe.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15046http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15046Esteban Gutierrez to complete IndyCar season with Dale CoyneThu, 22 Jun 2017 13:20:45 GMT<p>Dale Coyne Racing has confirmed that Esteban Guti&eacute;rrez will drive for the team across the rest of the 2017 IndyCar season, in place of the injured S&eacute;bastien Bourdais.</p> <p>Bourdais sustained hip and pelvic fractures in a high-speed crash during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, with James Davison piloting the No. 18 car in race trim.</p> <p>Guti&eacute;rrez made his IndyCar debut in Detroit but was side-lined for the following round in Texas due to his lack of oval experience, with time constraints and regulations denying him the opportunity to test.</p> <p>Guti&eacute;rrez has now concluded a deal to race for Dale Coyne at the remaining eight rounds, starting at Road America this weekend.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&#39;m very happy to finally announce my racing program for the rest of the season,&rdquo; expressed Gutierrez.</p> <p>&ldquo;To represent Mexico in the IndyCar Series has a huge significance to all the fans that have been following the series through history and I&#39;m very grateful to fill in this position.</p> <p>&quot;IndyCar has highly competitive teams and drivers and the challenge for me will be great, but I will use all my experience from Formula 1 with Sauber, Haas and Ferrari in order to adapt quickly to the car and the tracks.</p> <p>&ldquo;I look forward to continue working with Dale Coyne Racing and Honda, I put my trust in them to achieve great results together.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14941http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14941Will Power takes victory in crazy Rainguard Water Sealers 600Sun, 11 Jun 2017 04:23:05 GMT<p><strong>Will Power has taken victory after a crazy Rainguard Water Sealers 600 around the Texas Motor Speedway, in a race of attrition which featured nine full course cautions and one red flag delay.</strong></p> <p>Such was the incident-filled nature of the race that only nine&nbsp;of the 22 cars finished the race, with Max Chilton ending the race in the pit-lane after being involved in the last shunt between Scott Dixon and Takuma Sato.</p> <p>Tony Kanaan ended the race second for Chip Ganassi Racing, despite being struck with a stop-and-go penalty for causing a multi-car incident after making contact with James Hinchcliffe earlier in the race.</p> <p>The resulting contact with Hinchcliffe saw carnage ensue further back, as Hinchcliffe slammed into the wall and Mikhail Aleshin collected Tristan Vautier. Hildebrand, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ed Jones, Carlos Munoz and Ed Carpenter were all involved, with race officials red flagging the race to allow the track to be cleared.</p> <p>Simon Pagenaud escaped any contact to come home a respectable third for Penske, who put aside their lack of pace in qualifying to enjoy a relatively successful 248-lap race.</p> <p>Detroit double-header race winner Graham Rahal also survived the many skirmishes throughout the race to finish P4 for RLL Racing, ahead of Gabby Chaves who crossed the line a very respectable fifth for Harding Racing in only their second race.</p> <p>Marco Andretti was P6, with the Andretti Autosport racer making numerous setup changes during the closing stages of the race.</p> <p>After the red flag delay Firestone and INDYCAR officials declared that after every 30 laps a competition caution would be called to allow the drivers to complete mandatory pit-stops, after severe tyre wear was experienced by several drivers.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves suffered a front-right tyre failure during the early stages of the race, running straight on at Turn 2 and making heavy contact with the SAFER barrier.</p> <p>Conor Daly was P7 for A.J. Foyt Racing despite spinning while trying to avoid Sato, Chilton and Dixon up ahead, with Chilton officially classified in eighth yet stuck in the pit-lane after sustaining heavy damage to the front of his car.</p> <p>With only a handful of laps remaining Sato dipped a wheel on the grass at Turn 1 while fighting for P2 with four-time champion Dixon.</p> <p>The reigning Indianapolis 500 champion lost control of his car after touching the grass verge and collected Dixon, taking both drivers out of the race.</p> <p>Meanwhile Chilton ploughed into the side of Sato and Daly spun in avoidance, forcing the race to conclude under caution.</p> <p>Josef Newgarden was one of the many retirements,&nbsp;after the Penske racer tried to run three-wide earlier in the race before losing control of his car and slamming into the wall.</p> <p>Meanwhile initial pole sitter Charlie Kimball&rsquo;s race ended in misery after the first round of pit-stops, with the Chip Ganassi racer suffering a mechanical issue and joining the long list of retirements.</p> <p>Despite retiring Dixon maintains a 13-point lead in the drivers&rsquo; championship to reigning champion Pagenaud, with Sato only one point adrift of the Frenchman.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14917http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14917Charlie Kimball secures maiden IndyCar pole at TexasFri, 09 Jun 2017 21:31:08 GMT<p>Chip Ganassi Racing&rsquo;s Charlie Kimball scored his first IndyCar pole position in qualifying for Saturday&rsquo;s race at the Texas Motor Speedway.</p> <p>The American driver beat his team-mate Scott Dixon with an average speed of 222.556mph and aggregate two-lap run of 46.586 seconds.</p> <p>His run broke the Texas lap record previously held by Will Power since 2013. Dixon set the pace in practice and was second fastest in qualifying, keeping up his impressive form.</p> <p>Andretti&rsquo;s Alexander Rossi was third, with Tony Kanaan and Tristan Vautier &ndash; replacing Esteban Gutierrez in the No.18 Dale Coyne Racing car &ndash; completing the top five.</p> <p>Max Chilton, Mikhail Aleshin and Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato were next up, meaning the top eight was dominated by Honda power.</p> <p>Penske&rsquo;s Power and Helio Castroneves were the lead Chevrolet cars in ninth and 10th, ahead of Detroit double-header race winner Graham Rahal.</p> <p>Early running orders saw Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Josef Newgarden finish down in 13th, 15th and 17th.</p> <p>Carlos Munoz failed to set a time and he will start last for the race, which takes place at the recently-resurfaced and reprofiled Texas track.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14911http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14911Scott Dixon on top after delayed opening practice at TexasFri, 09 Jun 2017 19:28:14 GMT<p><strong>Scott Dixon has ended the opening practice session ahead of the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 around the Texas Motor Speedway fastest, after a delayed start to proceedings due to a rain delay.</strong></p> <p>The start of the first practice session endured a significant delay after heavy rain struck the oval, forcing drivers to wait for the inclement weather to pass and the track to dry out before beginning their weekend.</p> <p>Once the track had dried out the 22 drivers were naturally keen to begin preparing for the qualifying session later in the day, with many drivers immediately taking to the track once the green flag was out.</p> <p>Charlie Kimball was second for Chip Ganassi Racing, after a competitive start to the weekend which saw him even going momentarily fastest towards the end of the session.</p> <p>Alexander Rossi was P3 for Andretti Herta Autosport, with the 2016 Indianapolis 500 champion also sharing the top spot throughout the session.</p> <p>Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti were fourth and fifth respectively, after a session which was interrupted by two caution periods, both for track inspections.</p> <p>Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato was P6 for Andretti Autosport, as Honda once again showed their renewed supremacy over Chevrolet with the top six positions all occupied by Honda-powered drivers.</p> <p>Ed Carpenter was the fastest Chevrolet-powered driver in P7, as the team owner returns to the cockpit for the first time since the Indianapolis 500, replacing Spencer Pigot.</p> <p>Will Power could only manage eighth for Penske, as the outfit struggled to trouble the sharp end of the order.</p> <p>Tony Kanaan and Josef Newgarden rounded out the top ten, with only three Chevrolet-powered drivers managing to break into the top ten.</p> <p>Further down the order Penske team-mates Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves could only manage P12 and P13 respectively.</p> <p>Tristan Vautier was P16 for Dale Coyne Racing, as the Frenchman prepares to start his first IndyCar race since 2015 in place of the injured Sebastien Bourdais.</p> <p>Meanwhile Gabby Chaves could only manage P21 for rookie outfit Harding Racing, who are preparing for their second IndyCar race after making their debut at the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the year.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14900http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14900Tristan Vautier to drive for Dale Coyne Racing at TexasThu, 08 Jun 2017 11:24:34 GMT<p>Tristan Vautier will return to the IndyCar series for this weekend&rsquo;s round at the Texas Motor Speedway, taking over the No.18 Dale Coyne Racing car.</p> <p>The team&rsquo;s regular driver, Sebastien Bourdais, is currently recovering from injuries sustained in a crash during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.</p> <p>James Davison replaced him for the famous race, with ex-F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez then making his IndyCar debut in the No.18 car at the Detroit double-header least weekend.</p> <p>However, he was <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14884">ruled out of competing at Texas</a> due to his lack of oval experience, with Vautier being called up to replace him for the next round.</p> <p>Vautier won the 2012 Indy Lights championship before stepping up to IndyCar for a full season in 2013. He put in a part-season in 2015 with Dale Coyne and has since moved into sportscars.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&#39;m really looking forward to getting back in an Indy car and race for Dale again,&rdquo; he said on his IndyCar return.</p> <p>&ldquo;I really can&#39;t wait to be in the car on Friday and see how it feels that first lap around.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&#39;s not the easiest place to step back in and practice is going to be very limited, but the team has been competitive everywhere, and I trust we&#39;ll be good.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14899http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14899Dallara chosen by IndyCar as 2018 aerokit manufacturerThu, 08 Jun 2017 11:12:23 GMT<p>IndyCar has announced that Dallara has been chosen as the sole manufacturer of its new bodywork kit for the 2018 season.</p> <p>Currently, engine suppliers Honda and Chevrolet produce their own aerokits, but from next season onwards all cars will run with the same bodywork.</p> <p>Last month, new renders of the superspeedway and road/street course aerokit configurations were <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14763">officially revealed</a> by the single-seater series.</p> <p>Long-time partner Dallara has now been named as the bodywork manufacturer, alongside being the sole provider of the DW12 chassis IndyCar has used since 2012.</p> <p>IndyCar&rsquo;s new aerokits are designed to &ldquo;reduce the turbulence a leading car produces&rdquo; to &ldquo;improve the chances of a trailing car making a pass&rdquo;.</p> <p>The superspeedway oval configuration will make its test debut from July 25-26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.</p> <p>The road course/street course version will be tried out for the first time on August 1 at the Mid-Ohio track.</p> <p>Other tests are scheduled to take place on August 28 at Iowa Speedway and September 26 at Sebring.</p> <p>&quot;This has been a collaborative effort from multiple parties, including input from our paddock and fans,&quot; Jay Frye, IndyCar president of competition and operations, said.</p> <p>&ldquo;Dallara has been a great partner, and we couldn&#39;t be more enthused with the look, the safety enhancements and the performance objectives of the 2018 car.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14884http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14884Gutierrez won't run IndyCar Texas roundTue, 06 Jun 2017 11:19:24 GMT<p>Dale Coyne Racing will need to search for another driver for the No. 18 machine, with Esteban Guti&eacute;rrez unable to participate in this weekend&rsquo;s round at the Texas Motor Speedway.</p> <p>Regular racer S&eacute;bastien Bourdais, victor of the opening 2017 race at St. Petersburg, sustained hip and pelvic injuries in a high-speed crash during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, ruling him out of competition.</p> <p>Bourdais, who has targeted a return before the end of the season, was replaced for the prestigious event by James Davison, before ex-F1 racer Esteban Guti&eacute;rrez stepped in for the double-header in Detroit.</p> <p>Guti&eacute;rrez, having never driven in IndyCar before, claimed 19th in the opening race and 14th in the second encounter around the streets of Belle Isle.</p> <p>The Mexican entered Detroit facing clashing Formula E commitments across June and July, but Techeetah confirmed that St&eacute;phane Sarrazin would replace him in the electric single-seater series for the remainder of the 2016/17 campaign.</p> <p>However, as a rookie, Guti&eacute;rrez is required to conduct private running on an oval before he is permitted to take part in such an event.</p> <p>Due to time limitations, and IndyCar&rsquo;s testing restrictions, this is not possible prior to the upcoming round at the Texas Motor Speedway.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not out of the question that he will do other races, [he] just can&#39;t do Texas,&rdquo; his Dale Coyne team confirmed on social media.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14871http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14871Graham Rahal silences opposition with Race 2 victory at DetroitSun, 04 Jun 2017 22:12:14 GMT<p><strong>Graham Rahal has silenced the opposition after yet another utterly dominant drive to victory in Race 2 at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, rising up from third on the grid to become the first driver to win both races at the doubleheader around the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.</strong></p> <p>Despite starting from the second row of the grid Rahal perfected another two-stop strategy, using his first pit-stop to gain significant track position.</p> <p>The race ran caution free until the final handful of laps, when James Hinchcliffe suffered a mechanical failure and stopped on the track.&nbsp;</p> <p>Moments later Spencer Pigot suffered a monumental turbo failure, dropping oil onto the track amid a massive plume of thick white smoke.</p> <p>With only four laps remaining the race officials elected to red flag the race, thus enabling the Holmatro Safety Team to clear Pigot and Hinchcliffe&rsquo;s car as well as clearing any fluid deposited onto the track.</p> <p>This destroyed Rahal&rsquo;s lead, and put all the emphasis on the restart when there would be only two green flag racing laps left.</p> <p>But Rahal was supreme on the restart, opening up an impressive lead to Josef Newgarden and storming across the line to become the first repeat winner of the season.</p> <p>Despite catching Rahal before the red flag delay Newgarden was unable to challenge for the lead on the restart, instead finding himself defending heavily to Penske team-mate Will Power.</p> <p>Newgarden was certainly impressive throughout the 70-lap race, with the Barber race winner committing to a three-stop strategy in comparison to Rahal, Power and Takuma Sato&rsquo;s two-stop strategy to finish second.</p> <p>Power was forced to settle for P3 after a feisty restart from the 2014 champion, including several impressive on-track overtakes throughout the race on the likes of Mikhail Aleshin and Ryan Hunter-Reay.</p> <p>Pole sitter Sato could only manage P4 for Andretti Autosport, after losing the lead to Rahal during the first round of pit-stops and then a further position to Power during the second round of pit-stops.</p> <p>Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud enjoyed a much more productive Race 2, coming home fifth after a much stronger day for Penske in comparison to Race 1.</p> <p>Scott Dixon ended the race P6 for Chip Ganassi Racing, after his three-stop strategy failed to work in comparison to that of Newgarden&rsquo;s.</p> <p>Alexander Rossi and Charlie Kimball were P7 and P8 respectively, with Rossi in particular finding himself stuck in several key battles throughout the race with the likes of Dixon and team-mate Marco Andretti.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves could only manage P9 for Penske, once again failing to capitalise on a strong grid position.</p> <p>The Brazilian veteran made contact with Hunter-Reay during the early stages of the race, sustaining a left-rear puncture which ultimately scuppered any hope of a strong result.</p> <p>Tony Kanaan rounded out the top ten for Chip Ganassi, despite incurring drive-through penalty for a pit-lane infraction after running over an air hose during his final stop.</p> <p>Former Formula 1 racer Esteban Gutierrez was the last driver on the lead lap for Dale Coyne Racing in P14, after a tough introduction to IndyCar around the bumpy streets of Detroit.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14866http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14866Takuma Sato takes pole for Race 2 in DetroitSun, 04 Jun 2017 15:40:27 GMT<p><strong>Takuma Sato has stormed to pole position for Race 2 at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, only a week after romping to victory at the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.</strong></p> <p>The Japanese racer, who hasn&rsquo;t started from pole since Race 2 in Detroit back in 2014, topped the second segment of qualifying and therefore procured the odd-numbered grid slots for the drivers in his group.</p> <p>Ryan Hunter-Reay will start alongside team-mate Sato on the front-row of the grid, after the Andretti Autosport racer topped the first qualifying segment, which was interrupted by a red flag delay after Carlos Munoz made contact with the wall on the exit of Turn 2.&nbsp;</p> <p>Race 1 winner Graham Rahal will start from row two in P3, with his eyes firmly set on becoming the first driver to win both races during the Detroit doubleheader weekend.</p> <p>However, Rahal will have strong opposition in the form of Brazilian veteran Helio Castroneves, who will start the race from P4 on the second row of the grid.</p> <p>SPM Racing team-mates James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin lock-out the third row of the grid, with Hinchcliffe in particular chasing another strong result, albeit without any mistakes like Race 1.</p> <p>Will Power and Scott Dixon will start P7 and P8 respectively, with Power forced to take to the escape road at Turn 7 during the final moments of the second segment.</p> <p>The 2014 champion initially started the second segment in competitive form, becoming the first driver to set a time faster than Hunter-Reay&rsquo;s initial benchmark from the first segment.&nbsp;</p> <p>However, the Penske racer&rsquo;s rhythm was soon disrupted after light contact with the wall at Turn 6, before the likes of Rahal and Sato rose above him.</p> <p>Marco Andretti and Conor Daly rounded out the top ten, with Daly looking for another superb start to the race after gaining nine positions during the opening laps of Race 1 before a mechanical issue forced him into retirement.</p> <p>Further down the order reigning champion Pagenaud failed to trouble the sharp end of the order once again in P11, with Penske team-mate Josef Newgarden P13.</p> <p>Former Formula 1 racer Esteban Gutierrez will start P19 for his second IndyCar race, after out-qualifying Oriol Servia and Spencer Pigot.</p> <p>Meanwhile Munoz will start P22 and last, with the Columbian racer failing to set a timed lap before making contact with the barrier in the first segment.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14863http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14863Graham Rahal takes dominant Race 1 victory at DetroitSat, 03 Jun 2017 21:50:36 GMT<p><strong>Graham Rahal has successfully managed to translate pole position into victory after a dominant display during Race 1 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix around the tricky Raceway at Belle Isle Park road course.</strong></p> <p>The 70-lap race was only interrupted by two full course cautions after a relatively clean race, with Rahal leading 55 laps on his way to becoming the seventh different winner in seven races, showing just how competitive the IndyCar field has become.</p> <p>Four-time champion Scott Dixon was second for Chip Ganassi Racing, expertly handling his car around the treacherously bumpy street course only six days after his horrific accident at the Indianapolis 500.</p> <p>James Hinchcliffe was a highly respectable P3 for SPM Racing, after the Canadian racer spun at Turn 2 on the first lap after losing the rear of his car without any contact, causing the first caution period.</p> <p>Luckily Hinchcliffe managed to avoid contact with another driver and the wall, with the Holmatro Safety Team restarting his car and enabling him to return to the pits for a fresh set of Firestone tyres.</p> <p>From there Hinchcliffe scythed back through the field with a combination of on-track overtaking manoeuvres and pit-lane passes, working his way majestically back to the sharp end of the order.</p> <p>Josef Newgarden was fourth for Penske, ending the race as the highest placed Penske and Chevrolet-powered car.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Barber race winner completed a late overtake on Alexander Rossi, with the Andretti Autosport racer forced to settle for P5.</p> <p>Mikhail Aleshin was another driver who managed to rise up through the order during the race, opting to pit under the first caution period on the opening lap.&nbsp;</p> <p>Just like Hinchcliffe, Aleshin even managed to lead a lap of the race during the pit-stop period, eventually coming home P6.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves was forced to settle for P7, despite starting from P2 and even leading several laps.&nbsp;</p> <p>Initially Castroneves perfected the undercut on Rahal during the first round of pit-stops, however he was committed to a three-stop strategy and therefore was required to make a final splash-and-dash during the latter stages of the race which demoted him down the order.</p> <p>Takuma Sato also required a final stop during the final handful of laps, with the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion losing several key positions due to the stop and ending the race P8.</p> <p>Rookie Ed Jones rounded out the top ten ahead of Spencer Pigot, with the Dubai-born British racer in particular starting from a lowly P21 on the grid and rising steadily through the order.&nbsp;</p> <p>Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud endured an uninspiring race, eventually coming home way down in P16.</p> <p>Meanwhile fellow Penske racer Will Power was equally unimpressive, ending the race a lowly P18 and even a lap off the leaders.</p> <p>Conor Daly was the only official retirement of the race, after being involved in an altercation with Charlie Kimball which caused the second and final full course caution.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14861http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14861Graham Rahal secures Race 1 pole amid confusion at DetroitSat, 03 Jun 2017 15:25:12 GMT<p><strong>Graham Rahal will start Race 1 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix from pole position around the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, after a confusing conclusion to the qualifying session.</strong></p> <p>Initially Penske&rsquo;s Helio Castroneves had secured pole position after a blistering lap during the final minutes of qualifying, however it was later deleted after the Brazilian veteran was deemed not to have slowed down during a local yellow flag caused by Mikhail Aleshin.</p> <p>As per the qualifying regulations Aleshin&rsquo;s time was also deleted for causing the yellow flag, after the Russian racer made light contact with the wall and took to an escape road.</p> <p>Unlike the other road and street courses throughout the year, qualifying around the streets of Detroit is rather unique, with the field split into two segments and the overall fastest driver securing pole position, with that driver&rsquo;s group forming the grid in the odd-numbered positions.</p> <p>Meanwhile the drivers from the other group form the grid in the even-numbered grid slots.</p> <p>Although Castroneves had his fastest lap deleted for failing to slow during the local yellow flag, the Brazilian&rsquo;s other lap time was still enough to secure him P2 on the grid alongside Rahal.</p> <p>Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato will start on the second row of the grid for Andretti Autosport, alongside 2016 Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi.</p> <p>James Hinchcliffe will start P5, with Honda taking the fight to Chevrolet around the tight and twisty confines of the Belle Isle street circuit.</p> <p>Scott Dixon will accompany Hinchcliffe on the third row of the grid in P6, with the four-time&nbsp;champion enjoying a very competitive qualifying performance in the second group of the session.</p> <p>Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud will line-up only P7 for Race 1, after a frustrating qualifying session for the Penske racer.&nbsp;</p> <p>Immediately after the first group had completed their qualifying runs an incident between Pagenaud and Sato was investigated by the race stewards, with Pagenaud in particular unhappy with Sato for slowing during the session.</p> <p>However, the race officials decided to take no action on either driver, much to the surprise of Pagenaud.</p> <p>The Frenchman will start alongside British racer Max Chilton, who managed to secure P8 on the grid for Chip Ganassi.&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile Josef Newgarden and Charlie Kimball&nbsp;rounded out the top ten after a short and sweet qualifying session around the streets of Detroit.</p> <p>Former Formula 1 racer Esteban Gutierrez could only manage P19&nbsp;for his debut race in IndyCar, with the Mexican subbing for Sebastien Bourdais after the Frenchman sustained hip and pelvic injuries during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14846http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14846Ex-F1 racer Esteban Gutierrez to make IndyCar debut in DetroitThu, 01 Jun 2017 14:16:59 GMT<p>Former Formula 1 driver Esteban Gutierrez will make his IndyCar Series debut in place of the injured S&eacute;bastien Bourdais at Dale Coyne Racing in Detroit this weekend.</p> <p>Bourdais, winner of the opening round of the season at St. Petersburg, sustained hip and pelvic injuries in a high-speed crash during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, and has been sidelined for an unknown period of time.</p> <p>Gutierrez competed in Formula 1 with Sauber in 2013/14 and returned to a race seat with the new Haas squad for 2016, though was unable to retain his drive for 2017 after he failed to score a point, with Kevin Magnussen signed to partner Romain Grosjean.</p> <p>Gutierrez has since raced in Formula E for Techeetah and will now climb aboard the No. 18 car for this weekend&#39;s double-header around the streets of Belle Isle.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m very grateful to join Dale Coyne Racing, a highly competitive team,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;When Dale Coyne called me, I had no doubt that this would be a great opportunity for me to get experience in the IndyCar Series. My target is to learn as quickly as possible. IndyCar is a very challenging series for drivers, but I feel ready to take this chance.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m excited about my debut races at the Detroit Grand Prix and I cannot wait to start working with the team, engineers and Honda, as well as driving a Dallara car again.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14829http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14829Takuma Sato earns $2,458,129 for Indy 500 victoryTue, 30 May 2017 22:13:40 GMT<p>Takuma Sato pocketed a prize of $2,458,129 (&pound;1.9m) for winning the 101st running of the&nbsp;Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.</p> <p>Sato was crowned Indy&#39;s first Japanese winner when he took the lead of the 500-mile race with just six laps remaining, to finish just 0.2011s ahead of three-time winner&nbsp;Helio Castroneves.</p> <p>Castroneves earned&nbsp;$770,629 (&pound;601,000) for finishing second, whilst third-placed rookie Ed Jones took home a total of&nbsp;$535,629 (&pound;685,000).</p> <p>The total prize fund of&nbsp;$13,178,359 (&pound;10.2m) was split between all 33 drivers, with the amount depending on qualifying and race position.</p> <p>Jay Howard, last,&nbsp;retired after a <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14811">massive crash with&nbsp;Scott Dixon</a> and earned just over $200,000&nbsp;(&pound;156,000).</p> <p><strong>Full Prize Breakdown:</strong><br /> (Position, Qualifying, Driver, Condition, Prize)</p> <p>1. (4) Takuma Sato, Running, $2,458,129<br /> 2. (19) Helio Castroneves, Running, $770,629<br /> 3. (11) Ed Jones, Running, $535,629<br /> 4. (15) Max Chilton, Running, $484,129<br /> 5. (7) Tony Kanaan, Running, $438,129<br /> 6. (18) Juan Pablo Montoya, Running, $255,805<br /> 7. (3) Alexander Rossi, Running, $420,629<br /> 8. (8) Marco Andretti, Running, $384,629<br /> 9. (25) Gabby Chaves, Running, $235,305<br /> 10. (24) Carlos Munoz, Running, $364,129<br /> 11. (2) Ed Carpenter, Running, $395,129<br /> 12. (14) Graham Rahal, Running, $361,129<br /> 13. (13) Mikhail Aleshin, Running, $355,629<br /> 14. (23) Simon Pagenaud, Running, $349,129<br /> 15. (31) Sebastian Saavedra, Running, $210,305<br /> 16. (6) JR Hildebrand, Running, $345,129<br /> 17. (28) Pippa Mann, Running, $200,305<br /> 18. (29) Spencer Pigot, Running, $200,305<br /> 19. (22) Josef Newgarden, Running, $334,129<br /> 20. (33) James Davison, Contact, $355,129<br /> 21. (12) Oriol Servia,&nbsp;Contact, $200,305<br /> 22. (17) James Hinchcliffe, Contact, $349,129<br /> 23. (9) Will Power, Contact, $388,129<br /> 24. (5) Fernando Alonso, Mechanical, $305,805<br /> 25. (16) Charlie Kimball, Mechanical, $339,129<br /> 26. (32) Zach Veach, Mechanical, $200,805<br /> 27. (10) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mechanical, $351,629<br /> 28. (21) Sage Karam, Mechanical, $202,805<br /> 29. (30) Buddy Lazier, Contact, $200,305<br /> 30. (26) Conor Daly, Contact, $334,129<br /> 31. (27) Jack Harvey, Contact, $205,805<br /> 32. (1) Scott Dixon, Contact, $446,629<br /> 33. (20) Jay Howard, Contact, $200,305</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14826http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14826Video: Race highlights from the 101st Indianapolis 500Tue, 30 May 2017 13:50:09 GMT<p>Watch highlights from the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14814http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14814Takuma Sato holds off Helio Castroneves to claim first Indianapolis 500 victorySun, 28 May 2017 20:09:01 GMT<p>Takuma Sato has claimed his first Indy 500 victory and the first for a Japanese driver, redemption for his almost victory in 2012 when he crashed out of the race whilst challenging Dario Franchitti for the lead.</p> <p>In an event filled with so much drama, Sato came through from fourth on the grid to claim the win for Andretti in the 101st running of the famous race.</p> <p>The former Formula 1 racer claimed the lead of the race with five laps to go and didn&#39;t look back as he held off a challenge from Helio&nbsp;Castroneves to finish just 0.201 seconds ahead, denying the Brazilian racer a fourth Indy crown.</p> <p>Max Chilton, another former F1 driver, had been in contention until Castroneves made a pass for the lead, followed by Sato and eventually Ed Jones, pushing the Briton down to fourth place. Tony Kanaan completed the top five.</p> <p>The race began with a clean start and the lead changed hands a number of times, with rookie Fernando Alonso taking to the front on Lap 37, where he would remain until trading places with team-mate Alexander Rossi.</p> <p>Alonso took the lead back before a scary incident involving Scott Dixon and Jay Howard saw the former go airborne as he was launched over the rear of Howard&#39;s car. Both escaped unharmed and the race was red flagged.</p> <p>During the restart Alonso dropped back to fourth with Rossi taking the lead in an Andretti 1-2-3-4.</p> <p>A&nbsp;second caution for AJ Foyt&#39;s Conor Daly shuffled the order again. Daly hit the wall after contact with Charlie Kimball and the resultant debris forced Jack Harvey to retire after he ran over a large piece and span into the inside wall, narrowly missing a safety vehicle.</p> <p>Buddy Lazier was the next retirement after spinning into the outside wall, with Sage Karam experiencing issues during the caution.</p> <p>Honda had a nightmare race as Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alonso both retired with engine failures, the latter running seventh with just 20 laps remaining.</p> <p>A pile-up consisting of five cars, Oriol Servia, James Davison, Will Power, Josef Newgarden and James Hinchcliffe reduced the field with just a handful of laps remaining.</p> <p>Chilton held the lead at the final restart, but couldn&#39;t hold on, which allowed Sato to become the&nbsp;71st Indy 500 winner.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14813http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14813Fernando Alonso retires from Indy 500 with Honda engine failureSun, 28 May 2017 19:55:38 GMT<p>Fernando Alonso it seems can&#39;t escape Honda&#39;s reliability troubles as he retired from the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 with an engine failure with just 20 laps remaining.</p> <p>The McLaren driver, who missed the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend to race in his first IndyCar event, was running seventh on lap 180 of 200 when he slowed on the main straight with smoke pouring from his McLaren-Andretti.</p> <p>The Spaniard led 25 laps&nbsp;throughout the opening 100 laps, but dropped back during a restart, falling back to tenth before he started to climb back up the order.</p> <p>As he exited his IndyCar, the crowd rose to their feet and aplauded the two-time Formula 1 World Champion.</p> <p>Speaking after his retirement, Alonso said he would be back in the future: &quot;Yeah, obviously. It&#39;s very early. I feel competitive, but I will come back. It will be easier the second time.</p> <p>&quot;Really good fun, thanks to IndyCar, thanks to the fans. One of the best experiences of my career.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14811http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14811Scott Dixon escapes injury in massive Indianapolis 500 shuntSun, 28 May 2017 17:56:16 GMT<p>Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter Scott Dixon escaped injury after a massive accident on Lap 53 of the 200-lap race.</p> <p>Dixon became airborne when he struck the rear of Jay Howard&#39;s #77 car, which moments before struck the wall after running wide at Turn 1 and ran across the track into Dixon&#39;s path.</p> <p>Dixon then landed on the SAFER barrier on the inside wall, tearing down part of the catch fencing which required a lengthy repair under red flag conditions&nbsp;before the race could be restarted.</p> <p>Both Dixon and Howard&nbsp;walked away from the crash, whilst a photographer nearby was taken to the medical centre for checks.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves was almost collected, but managed to avoid the crash by dipping to the inside, where he drove under the airborne Dixon.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4Fd1LoN3IBw" width="560"></iframe></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14777http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14777Sebastien Bourdais discharged from hospital following Indy 500 qualifying crashThu, 25 May 2017 20:33:29 GMT<p>Sebastien Bourdais has been discharged from the&nbsp;IU Health Methodist Hospital where he was being treated following a high-speed crash during qualifying for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 last Saturday.</p> <p>The Frenchman suffered multiple pelvic fractures and a fractured right hip when he struck the Turn 2 wall, resulting in immediate surgery.</p> <p>On Thursday, Bourdais was discharged and will now undergo rehabilitation for several weeks before he can walk unaided again.</p> <p>&quot;Sebastien is progressing amazingly fast for having pelvis and hip fractures, and considering the severity of the crash,&quot; said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Scheid. &quot;He is walking with crutches, in good spirits and feeling good.</p> <p>&quot;We expect the fractures to heal in around eight weeks and he should be able to start putting weight on the right leg then. Until that time, he can work on rehabilitating his upper body, core strength and range of motion in the hip.&quot;</p> <p>Bourdais added: &quot;I&#39;m obviously really happy to be up on my feet and feeling pretty good about being able to walk on crutches. I&#39;m really thankful to all the people at IU Health Methodist and the Holmatro Safety Team, everybody at IndyCar and my team, Dale Coyne Racing, for helping me achieve that so early after the crash.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s going to be a bit of a long road ahead. I still have six weeks before I can put weight on my right leg and put my foot on the ground, but after that it should be pretty smooth sailing,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&#39;m really looking forward to the day I can get back in the car, and hopefully that will be before the end of the season. I look forward to seeing you guys at the track.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14776http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14776McLaren's sponsors aren't being charged for IndyCar exposureThu, 25 May 2017 20:20:42 GMT<p>McLaren is not charging its sponsors any extra for having their logos on Fernando Alonso&#39;s IndyCar, despite the massive exposure&nbsp;they will receive this weekend, as well as the coverage they have already had during practice and qualifying.</p> <p>Alonso&#39;s car is bedecked in McLaren&#39;s Formula 1 sponsors, such as Hilton, SAP, Chandon and Richard Mille amongst others, but they haven&#39;t been charged for the additional sponsorship according to McLaren boss Zak Brown, who says it&#39;s McLaren&#39;s way of saying thank you and apologising for their current dip in performance which has led to less positive media coverage than their sponsors would like.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s something we&#39;re doing as part of our larger motor racing programme to deliver for our partners,&quot; he is quoted as saying by <em>Motorsport</em>. &quot;It isn&#39;t anything we have charged them incrementally for.</p> <p>&quot;As good partners, you need to recognise when you&#39;re delivering and when you are not and we&#39;re not delivering on track, which directly impacts their exposure.</p> <p>&quot;So this is a great way to offset that loss of exposure that we are generating now with a tremendous amount of exposure. We felt that was the right thing to do.&quot;</p> <p>Alonso will take part in his first Indianapolis 500 on Sunday after qualifying fifth, whilst Jenson Button will stand-in for him at the Monaco Grand Prix.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14763http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14763IndyCar reveals new images of 2018 aerokitsWed, 24 May 2017 19:31:41 GMT<p>The IndyCar series has shared the most revealing look yet at the aerokits it will use during the 2018 season.</p> <p>Initial concept designs were first revealed at the start of the year, with more detailed images being released last month.</p> <p>IndyCar has now unveiled a full set of official renders, showing the 2018 kits in both superspeedway and road/street course configurations.</p> <p>The kits will replace the current Chevrolet and Honda ones, with all drivers and teams running the same aero specs on their Dallara DW12s next season.</p> <p>A supplier has yet to be finalised and there is no firm date of when testing will begin, but IndyCar hopes to start trying the new kits out by mid-summer.</p> <p>The series says the new kits have &ldquo;been reverse-designed to start with a look of past Indycar favourites while also incorporating the latest technological and safety advancements.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/IndyCarRoad.jpg" /></p> <p>A look at the road/street course and short oval configuration can be seen above, with the superspeedway kit below.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/IndyCarSuper.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14747http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14747Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti robbed at gunpoint at Taco Bell after Indy 500 qualifyingTue, 23 May 2017 22:08:36 GMT<p>Indianapolis&nbsp;500 pole sitter Scott Dixon and fellow IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti were both robbed at gunpoint on Sunday during a visit to a Taco Bell.</p> <p>The pair left the circuit following the conclusion of qualifying and headed to an Italian restaurant for dinner. However upon arrival, the restaurant had closed for the&nbsp;night, forcing the pair to eat at Taco Bell were they were held at gunpoint whilst in the drive-thru.</p> <p>&quot;It was definitely shocking, disbelief for the most part,&quot; Dixon told <em>AP, </em>who just four hours earlier had secured pole for the 101st running of the Indy 500.</p> <p>&quot;It will make you feel really small again,&quot; he added.</p> <p>Whilst their team, Chip Ganassi Racing, confirmed the incident occured, they refused to comment.</p> <p>Nobody was harmed during the incident and it&#39;s not known what or if any items were taken during the robbery.</p> <p>Two gunmen, aged 14 and 15, fled on foot, but were later arrested.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14740http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14740Max Chilton quickest in Indy 500 final full practice on MondayMon, 22 May 2017 21:19:09 GMT<p>Chip Ganassi&#39;s Max Chilton was fastest during practice eight on Monday for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, with a best lap speed of&nbsp;228.592mph during the three-and-a-half-hour&nbsp;session.</p> <p>Chilton, 15th on the grid, completed 108 laps and was 0.4mph&nbsp;quicker than Dale Coyne Racing&#39;s Ed Jones.</p> <p>Polesitter Scott Dixon (Chip&nbsp;Ganassi)&nbsp;was a further 1mph slower to complete an all-Honda top three ahead of the Chevrolet-powered Team Penske Simon Pagenaud.</p> <p>Monday&#39;s running marks the final full practice session before Sunday&#39;s race, with only Friday&#39;s hour-long session on &#39;Carb Day&#39; the final chance for drivers to get some practice in before the big event.</p> <p>McLaren&#39;s Fernando Alonso was the slowest Andretti car in P12, 2.5mph off the lead pace, though times aren&#39;t all-important as drivers focussed on running in traffic, rather than outright pace.</p> <p>Alonso&#39;s Andretti team-mate Takuma Sato was fifth, with&nbsp;Ryan Hunter-Reay seventh, Alexander Rossi ninth&nbsp;and&nbsp;Marco Andretti 10th.</p> <p>The&nbsp;Michael Shank Racing run Andretti car of Jack Harvey was 21st, but set the highest non-tow aided top speed of 224.036mph and completed the most laps at 124.</p> <p>Sebastien Bourdais stand-in James Davidson was 28th quickest in his first practice session since being confirmed as the Frenchman&#39;s replacement.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14733http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14733Scott Dixon storms to Indy 500 pole, Fernando Alonso to start from row twoSun, 21 May 2017 22:06:13 GMT<p><strong>Scott Dixon has stormed to pole position for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, his third pole at The Brickyard after a thoroughly entering Sunday qualifying session.</strong></p> <p>The session was split into two segments, with the first part consisting of the drivers who ended Saturday qualifying outside the top nine. These drivers filled the positions from P10 to P32, before the all-important &lsquo;Fast 9 Shootout&rsquo; got underway shortly afterwards.</p> <p>Ed Carpenter was the last driver to take to the track during the &lsquo;Fast 9 Shootout&rsquo; after ending Saturday qualifying fastest, however the team owner was ultimately unable to challenge Dixon&rsquo;s scintillating four lap average of 232.164mph - the only driver to end the day in the 232mph bracket.</p> <p>Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi was a strong third for Andretti Autosport, ahead of team-mate and former Formula 1 racer Takuma Sato.</p> <p>Sato ended Saturday qualifying second fastest, and was therefore the penultimate driver to take to the track during the &lsquo;Fast 9 Shootout&rsquo;.</p> <p>Double F1 champion Fernando Alonso was a very impressive P5 for McLaren-Honda-Andretti, sending many fans into rapturous applause as he initially flew to the top with a 231.300mph average.</p> <p>During his four lap run Alonso&rsquo;s laps got progressively quicker, however after the improvements from the likes of Dixon and Carpenter, the Spaniard will be forced to start from the second row of the grid next Sunday.</p> <p>J.R. Hildebrand could only manage sixth for Ed Carpenter Racing, ahead of IndyCar veteran Tony Kanaan.</p> <p>Marco Andretti was the first driver to take to the track during the &lsquo;Fast 9 Shootout&rsquo;, however he was unable to set the timing sheets alight and eventually only qualified P8 ahead of Will Power.</p> <p>Although Power is the highest Penske on the grid for the Indianapolis 500, he was the only Penske racer to make it into the &lsquo;Fast 9 Shootout&rsquo; and will start way ahead of team-mates Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden and reigning champion Simon Pagenaud.</p> <p>Ed Jones stood out as one of the highlights of the first segment of qualifying earlier in the day, with the rookie only just missing out on a spot in the &lsquo;Fast 9 Shootout&rsquo; after Saturday qualifying.</p> <p>The Dubai-born British racer will line-up P11 on the grid for Dale Coyne Racing, after ending the first segment of Sunday qualifying behind only former champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.</p> <p>Further down the order rookie Zach Veach finally managed to qualify, after missing Saturday&rsquo;s session after damaging his car substantially during &lsquo;Fast Friday&rsquo; practice.</p> <p>James Davison will complete the grid in P33 for Dale Coyne Racing, despite not partaking in either qualifying sessions.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Australian racer will substitute for the injured Sebastien Bourdais at Dale Coyne Racing, and will eventually take to the track later in the week once Bourdais&rsquo; road course spare car has been reconfigured for oval competition.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14732http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14732Ed Jones quickest in practice seven ahead of Indy 500 Sunday qualifyingSun, 21 May 2017 18:21:33 GMT<p><strong>Rookie Ed Jones has ended practice seven fastest ahead of Sunday qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, continuing to impress many within the paddock for Dale Coyne Racing.</strong></p> <p>The session was initially delayed by 30 minutes to allow the track to fully dry out, with wet patches lingering around the 2.5-mile oval.</p> <p>The seventh practice session was the last chance for the teams and drivers to finalise their preparations for the main qualifying session later in the day, with the session split into two segments.</p> <p>The first 35 minutes of track action was reserved for drivers who ended Saturday qualifying in positions P10 to P33, with the drivers who managed to qualify for the &lsquo;Fast 9&rsquo; partaking in their own 35 minute practice session shortly afterwards.</p> <p>Drivers from the second segment of qualifying were ultimately unable to trouble the drivers from the first group, with Ryan Hunter-Reay ending proceedings P2 behind pace-setter Jones.</p> <p>Graham Rahal was P3 for RLL Racing, ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya who was the fastest Chevrolet-powered driver for Penske.</p> <p>Rookie Jack Harvey once again made the most of his track time, completing the most amount of laps and ending proceedings P5.</p> <p>Meanwhile double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso was the fastest driver from the second segment, finishing P6 for McLaren-Honda-Andretti.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Spaniard will battle for pole position later in the day during qualifying, after impressively booking his place in the all-important &lsquo;Fast 9&rsquo; during Saturday qualifying yesterday.</p> <p>Josef Newgarden was seventh for Penske, ending the session ahead of team-mate and reigning champion Simon Pagenaud.</p> <p>IndyCar returnee Oriol Servia and Will Power rounded out the top ten, with many big names failing to trouble the top ten throughout the session.</p> <p>Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves was P12, ahead of reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi.</p> <p>Meanwhile Takuma Sato was a lowly P16, after ending Saturday qualifying P2 yesterday with a highly competitive performance for Andretti Autosport.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14729http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14729James Davison to replace Sebastien Bourdais in Indy 500Sun, 21 May 2017 17:37:29 GMT<p><strong>James Davison has been confirmed as Dale Coyne Racing&rsquo;s substitute for Sebastien Bourdais for the remainder of the Indianapolis 500, following the Frenchman&rsquo;s violent incident during Saturday qualifying.</strong></p> <p>During the third lap of his qualifying attempt Bourdais speared into the SAFER barrier at Turn 2, utterly destroying his car and even momentarily going upside down.</p> <p>The Holmatro Safety Team were immediately on the scene and successfully extracted Bourdais from his car, transferring him via ambulance to the IU Methodist Hospital where he was diagnosed with multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fracture to his right hip.</p> <p>Davison will be making his third start at the Indianapolis 500 and fifth overall start in the IndyCar Series, after initially making his debut with Dale Coyne Racing in 2013 at Mid-Ohio.</p> <p>&quot;First off my thoughts are with Sebastien and Claire Bourdais in this unfortunate time,&quot; explained Davison to <i>RACER</i>.</p> <p>&quot;This is the last way a driver wants to secure an opportunity.</p> <p>&quot;We&#39;re certainly going to do the best we can with the time and equipment we have.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;We only have the road course car to build from, so we&#39;ll be starting last and Dale has the best mechanics and crew guys here, so I&#39;ll be ready to go as soon as they tell me it&#39;s time.&rdquo;</p> <p>With Bourdais&rsquo; original race car a complete write-off after his monumental shunt, Dale Coyne Racing has no other option than to take the road course car used for the INDYCAR GP last week and completely reconfigure it to oval specification for the rest of the week.</p> <p>Davison will likely take to the track for his first practice session later in the week, once the car has been fully altered for oval racing and the team&rsquo;s other drivers Ed Jones and Pippa Mann have successfully qualified.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14727http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14727Sebastien Bourdais undergoes surgery after Indy 500 shuntSun, 21 May 2017 16:17:38 GMT<p><strong>Sebastien Bourdais has undergone successful surgery for multiple fractures sustained in a horrific incident during his qualifying attempt for the Indianapolis 500.</strong></p> <p>The four-time champion was on his third lap during Saturday qualifying when he speared violently into the SAFER barrier at Turn 2, obliterating the right-side of his car and even tipping him momentarily upside down.</p> <p>Once his car had come to a halt the ever-efficient Holmatro Safety Team arrived on the scene and transported him to the IU Methodist Hospital by ambulance where he was diagnosed with multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fracture to his right hip.</p> <p>&quot;Surgery went well,&quot; explained INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;I&#39;ve met with Sebastien this morning and he was doing even better than I expected.&rdquo;</p> <p>Moments before his incident Bourdais posted consecutively quick laps at over 231mph, which would&rsquo;ve likely seen him end the first stage of qualifying towards the top of the order.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14721http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14721Sebastien Bourdais suffers pelvis, hip fractures in Indy 500 qualifying crashSun, 21 May 2017 10:01:13 GMT<p>Dale Coyne Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais has suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fracture to his right hip after his Indianapolis 500 qualifying crash.</p> <p>The French driver was mid-way through his qualifying run during Saturday&rsquo;s session when a small slide caused him to crash into the barrier at Turn 2.</p> <p>His car flipped upside down briefly before coming to rest the right way up, with the qualifying session being red flagged.</p> <p>An initial IndyCar statement said he was &ldquo;awake and alert&rdquo; and &ldquo;did not lose consciousness&rdquo; in the crash, before releasing a further update overnight.</p> <p>It read:</p> <p>&ldquo;Verizon IndyCar Series driver Sebastien Bourdais was diagnosed with multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fracture to his right hip following an incident today while attempting to qualify for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.</p> <p>&ldquo;According to INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows, Bourdais will undergo surgery on his pelvis this evening at IU Health Methodist Hospital. Bourdais was on the third lap of his qualification run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when his Dale Coyne Racing No. 18 GEICO Honda made hard contact with the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier.&rdquo;</p> <p>A statement from team owner Dale Coyne added: &ldquo;Sebastien is in good hands here at IU Methodist Hospital with the staff and now we just wait for him to recover.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14719http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14719Ed Carpenter tops first Indy 500 qualifying, Fernando Alonso P7Sat, 20 May 2017 23:38:24 GMT<p><strong>Ed Carpenter has topped the first day of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, after a delayed start to proceedings due to torrential rain throughout the day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.</strong></p> <p>Eventually qualifying was able to get underway after roughly a five hour delay, with each driver being allowed one chance to qualify.</p> <p>As ever the aim of first qualifying was to end the session within the top nine, with Sunday&rsquo;s second qualifying session being split into two segments.</p> <p>The top nine will be eligible to battle for pole in the &lsquo;Fast 9&rsquo;, whereas the rest of the field will be forced to settle for the rest of the positions from P10 to P33.</p> <p>Sebastien Bourdais was the only driver to make contact with the barrier during his qualifying attempt, with the Frenchman slamming violently into the wall and even going momentarily upside down.</p> <p>After the incident Bourdais was seen moving in the cockpit, before being extracted from his car by the ever-efficient Holmatro safety team and transferred via ambulance to the IU Methodist Hospital.&nbsp;</p> <p>Once the session was resumed former Formula 1 racer Takuma Sato momentarily assumed the top spot, eventually being forced to settle for P2 after Carpenter&rsquo;s run.</p> <p>Four-time champion Scott Dixon was P3 for Chip Ganassi Racing, following a strong effort during the early stages of the session.</p> <p>Dixon immediately went fastest after his qualifying attempt, holding the top spot until Sato usurped him later in the session.</p> <p>J.R. Hildebrand ended a perfect day for Ed Carpenter Racing, comfortably qualifying for the &lsquo;Fast 9&rsquo; in P4.</p> <p>Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi displayed sheer composure, completing the first lap after Bourdais&rsquo; horrifying incident.</p> <p>Rossi eventually ended the session P5, ahead of Penske&rsquo;s Will Power.</p> <p>The 2014 champion will be Penske&rsquo;s only driver in the &lsquo;Fast 9&rsquo; during Sunday qualifying, such was the team&rsquo;s lack of competitiveness after the majority of their drivers drew early runs in the random ballot on Friday.</p> <p>Fernando Alonso was by far the driver of the day for many, as the double F1 champion and IndyCar rookie was impressively quick.</p> <p>The McLaren-Honda-Andretti racer ended Saturday qualifying P7, making it into the all-important &lsquo;Fast 9&rsquo; on his first attempt.</p> <p>Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti rounded out the top nine, with Kanaan&rsquo;s effort in particular standing out after completing his qualifying attempt early in the session.</p> <p>Ed Jones enjoyed a thoroughly impressive performance for Dale Coyne Racing, only just missing out on a &lsquo;Fast 9&rsquo; slot in P10.</p> <p>Despite this the rookie will undoubtedly remain content, after ending the session ahead of big names such as three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and reigning champion Simon Pagenaud.</p> <p>Meanwhile rookie Zach Veach was the only driver not to take to the track during Saturday qualifying, with the A.J. Foyt Racing outfit forced to complete their only qualifying run on Sunday after Veach suffered an incident in practice the previous day.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14718http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14718Sébastien Bourdais rushed to hospital after violent Indy 500 qualifying crashSat, 20 May 2017 23:36:06 GMT<p>Four times ChampCar Champion S&eacute;bastien Bourdais, has had a major crash during qualifying for next weekend&rsquo;s Indianapolis 500 and has been taken to hospital.</p> <p>A statement from INDYCAR said Bourdais was &quot;awake and alert,&rdquo; after the accident and that &ldquo;he did not lose consciousness and has been transported by ground to IU Health Methodist Hospital,&quot; following the impact.</p> <p>After setting an average of 231.534mph across his first two laps (the fastest of the day so far), the Frenchman lost control exiting Turn 2 on his third lap. Bourdais was seen on television trying to correct the slide but ended up hitting the SAFER barrier almost head-on.</p> <p>The car burst into flames on impact and was briefly upside down before coming to rest back on its wheels.</p> <p>The Holmatro IndyCar Safety Team was on the scene almost immediately and put Bourdais on to a backboard for transportation to the Indiana University Hospital.</p> <p>A spokeswoman for his Dale Coyne Racing team said that Bourdais was complaining of pain in his right leg. Bourdais won the season-opening IndyCar race in St Petersburg and had set the fastest time of the Indy 500 build-up in the &#39;Fast Friday&#39; practice session.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14714http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14714Gabby Chaves ends practice six quickest for Harding RacingSat, 20 May 2017 13:57:43 GMT<p><strong>Gabby Chaves has ended practice six fastest for IndyCar rookie team Harding Racing, ahead of the first qualifying session for the Indianapolis 500.</strong></p> <p>Although the sixth practice session was the last chance for drivers to finalise their preparations for the first part of qualifying later in the day, there was a limited amount of running due to far from perfect weather conditions.</p> <p>The start of the session was initially delayed slightly due to lingering mist around the 2.5-mile oval, before a brief caution period was caused due to moisture on the track later on.</p> <p>Rahal was second quickest for RLL Racing, trading the top spot with Chaves during the final few minutes of the session.</p> <p>Conor Daly was P3 for A.J. Foyt Racing, ending the session just ahead of team-mate Carlos Munoz.&nbsp;</p> <p>Jack Harvey enjoyed a productive session, as the British racer completed seven laps in a bid to make up for lost time.</p> <p>The former GP3 and IndyLights racer has endured a far from perfect month of May, making contact with the SAFER barrier on the first day of track action before being plagued with an engine issue yesterday.</p> <p>Ryan Hunter-Reay was sixth for Andretti Autosport, ahead of 1996 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Lazier.&nbsp;</p> <p>Lazier, who made his Indianapolis 500 debut back in 1989, ended the session just ahead of IndyCar returnee Sage Karam.</p> <p>Karam produced the initial benchmark during the early stages of the session, before falling down the order once other drivers took to the track.</p> <p>Big names such as Fernando Alonso, Helio Castroneves and reigning champion Simon Pagenaud elected not to take to the track during the session, for fear of damaging their cars ahead of the all-important first part of qualifying later in the day.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14707http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14707Sebastien Bourdais ends rain-hit ‘Fast Friday’ fastestFri, 19 May 2017 22:30:23 GMT<p><strong>Sebastian Bourdais has ended a rain-hit &lsquo;Fast Friday&rsquo; fastest for Dale Coyne Racing, as preparations ahead of qualifying for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 intensified.</strong></p> <p>The fifth consecutive practice session of the week enabled the teams and drivers to begin thoroughly dialling their cars up ahead of the two days of qualifying, with each car receiving an extra turbocharger boost.</p> <p>This naturally saw the speeds increase dramatically, with Bourdais producing a 233.116mph lap during the early stages of the session to end the day fastest overall.</p> <p>Despite a frenetic start, a length delay due to rain plagued proceedings for three hours and 33 minutes as the storm swept across the 2.5-mile oval.</p> <p>Ryan Hunter-Reay was P2 for Andretti Autosport, after initially rising to the top during a busy opening 15 minutes to the day which saw the likes of Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves and even Pippa Mann momentarily rise to the top.</p> <p>Andretti Autosport enjoyed a very productive day, with Takuma Sato and Fernando Alonso ending proceedings third and fourth respectively in a session which was favourable to Honda-powered cars.</p> <p>Alonso in particular was once again the focal point of the session, with the double Formula 1 world champion impressing many straight away by slotting into P2 during the early stages of the session with a lap completely unaided by a tow from a driver in front.</p> <p>Shortly after that Alonso then stormed to the top of proceedings for a short while, before gradually falling down the order as the times began to improve.</p> <p>Juan Pablo Montoya was P4 for Penske, ending the day as the only Chevrolet-powered driver in the top ten.</p> <p>James Hinchcliffe was fifth, finishing just ahead of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team-mates Mikhail Aleshin and Jay Howard.</p> <p>Rookie Ed Jones was impressive for Dale Coyne Racing, rounding out the top ten ahead of reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi.</p> <p>Along with the lengthy rain delay there were a handful of cautions throughout the day, with one prior to the rainfall due to an engine issue for rookie Jack Harvey.</p> <p>The British racer limped back to the pits with smoke ominously wafting from the rear of his car, greatly hindering what has already been a tough week for the former GP3 and IndyLights racer.</p> <p>After the rain delay there were two caution periods due to heavy incidents, the first from Spencer Pigot who lost control of his car at Turn 2.</p> <p>Shortly afterwards rookie Zach Veach over-corrected his car at Turn 1 and slammed into the wall, with his car sliding out of control down the track and making a second impact with the wall at Turn 2.</p> <p>Both drivers were released from the infield medical centre and cleared to continue competing.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14706http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14706Video: Fast Friday – Fernando Alonso, Alexander Rossi and Tony Kanaan preview the Indy 500Fri, 19 May 2017 15:29:17 GMT<p>Widely regarded as the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500 is truly an event like no other. And for this year&#39;s 101st running, global interest is higher than ever before as two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso makes his bid to drink the famous milk in Victory Lane. IndyCar drivers Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castoneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Scott Dixon and Fernando Alonso himself all share their thoughts as the excitement builds ahead of the main event next weekend.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14700http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14700Jay Howard quickest at Indianapolis, Fernando Alonso fourthThu, 18 May 2017 22:14:50 GMT<p>Schmidt Peterson Motorsports&#39; Jay Howard set the fastest time of the week to finish atop the timesheets on the fourth day of practice for the Indianapolis 500.</p> <p>Howard used the draft available to him and clocked a lap at 226.744mph to finish comfortably quickest, almost one mile per hour faster than Andretti Autosport&rsquo;s Ryan Hunter-Reay, who posted a 225.825.</p> <p>Hunter-Reay was followed by team-mates Marco Andretti and Fernando Alonso, the McLaren-associated debutant maintaining strong form by placing fourth, racking up 96 laps of the oval, his best a 225.619.</p> <p>In the &lsquo;No Tow Rankings&rsquo;, Alonso finished a creditable ninth &ndash; setting a 223.687, within one mph of team-mate Takuma Sato, who led the NTR, as Howard placed down in 24th position.</p> <p>Penske&rsquo;s Josef Newgarden finished in fifth place overall but suffered a sizeable accident, slamming into the wall exiting Turn 1, the crash prematurely ending his running.</p> <p>Sage Karam finished sixth, in front of Charlie Kimball, Oriol Servi&agrave;, Sato and S&eacute;bastien Bourdais.</p> <p>Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi placed 13th, surrounded by the Penskes of Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya and H&eacute;lio Castroneves, the three-time winner the most productive runner, completing 117 laps.</p> <p>Current IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud was a low-key 23rd, with last year&rsquo;s pole sitter James Hinchcliffe further back in 26th spot.</p> <p>Buddy Lazier, the 33rd entrant for this year&rsquo;s event, finally appeared for the first time all week, completing a slow installation lap during the closing stages.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14690http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14690Ed Carpenter fastest after wind-affected Indy 500 third practice, Fernando Alonso P4Wed, 17 May 2017 22:19:14 GMT<p><strong>Ed Carpenter has ended a wind-affected&nbsp;third practice session fastest at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, after a day with limited running due to the unfavourable weather conditions.</strong></p> <p>A wind advisory had been issued for the circuit throughout the day, with some gusts as high as 35mph and greatly hindering the teams and drivers as preparations continued around the 2.5-mile oval.</p> <p>Scott Dixon was P2 for Chip Ganassi Racing, after trading the top spot throughout the day with Carpenter.</p> <p>The four-time champion sat atop the classification for the majority of the day, before Carpenter lowered the benchmark during the final hour of track action.</p> <p>J.R. Hildebrand was third fastest for Ed Carpenter Racing, completing the most mileage during the day along with team-mate and team owner Carpenter.&nbsp;</p> <p>Hildebrand was the first driver to complete a lap when the session initially got underway, producing the initial benchmark along with James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin.</p> <p>Double Formula 1 racer Fernando Alonso impressed many during the final hour in particular, as the McLaren-Honda-Andretti racer opted to return to the track despite the blustery conditions.</p> <p>During the final hour Alonso improved massively, handling the windy conditions admirably to end the day fourth fastest overall with 39 laps completed.</p> <p>Conor Daly was P5 for A.J. Foyt Racing, improving to the sharp end of the order during the latter stages of the day.</p> <p>Former F1 racer Max Chilton managed to end proceedings sixth for Chip Ganassi Racing, running as high as P2 at one stage before gradually falling down the order.</p> <p>Carlos Munoz was seventh ahead of rookie Zach Veach, the latter completing 46 laps overall and ending the day as the last driver out on the race track.</p> <p>Meanwhile Charlie Kimball and Jay Howard rounded out the top ten, with Howard in particular producing the fastest lap during the early stages of the day before Dixon and Carpenter took to the circuit.</p> <p>With the wind causing headaches up and down the paddock, many teams elected to focus their attention on pit-stop practice.&nbsp;</p> <p>Some drivers failed to even complete a lap throughout the whole day, including reigning champion Simon Pagenaud and Penske team-mates Helio Castroneves and Will Power.</p> <p>As ever there were a handful of caution periods due to debris, with no incidents during the entirety of the practice session.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14684http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14684Jack Harvey interview: Andretti’s other Indy 500 rookieWed, 17 May 2017 12:24:25 GMT<p>Fernando Alonso may be stealing a lot of focus ahead of his Indianapolis 500 debut, but there&rsquo;s another rookie within the Andretti squad who is looking to make an impression: British driver Jack Harvey.</p> <p>Following on from impressive stints in Formula BMW, British Formula 3 &ndash; he was crowned champion in 2012 &ndash; and GP3, Harvey decided to make the move over to America for the 2014 season and joined the Indy Lights grid.</p> <p>Harvey stayed in the IndyCar feeder category for two seasons and finished runner-up both times, but couldn&rsquo;t secure a drive for 2016 &ndash; although there was a slim chance of an IndyCar seat. However, a lot of hard work and determination has rewarded Harvey with an Indy 500 drive this year.</p> <p>The 24-year-old has joined frontrunners and reigning Indy 500 champions Andretti Autosport, in collaboration with Michael Shank Racing. A steering column failure resulted in a far from ideal start to his Month of May but Harvey feels confident and comfortable ahead of his debut.</p> <p>He caught up with <em>Motorsport Week&rsquo;s</em> Jack Leslie ahead of second practice for the Indy 500 to discuss his switch to America and aims for the iconic oval race.</p> <p><img alt="" height="440" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/04CJ0634A.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p><strong>Jack Leslie: People in Europe will be familiar with your racing over there, what sparked the switch to the US?</strong></p> <p>Jack Harvey: &ldquo;I think, honestly, the reason for coming to America was that Formula 1 was bottlenecking, the junior formulas were bottlenecking. People were, sort of, plateauing and stagnating. I came to America at the end of 2013 to check it out and felt there were some good opportunities out here, still for a lot of money but certainly a lot less [than in Europe]. The way the Mazda Road to Indy works is, if you win the championship it can promote you into the next category. Although I was unfortunate to be second both years in Indy Lights I think the system works. I certainly felt as a career move it could lead to something more long-term and I still believe that now.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>JL: How was the transition from racing in Europe compared to the US?</strong></p> <p>JH: &ldquo;Good, actually. I feel like Europe prepared me pretty well for coming out here, honestly. I have quite a bit of experience now in the lower formulas, obviously working to try and race at IndyCar level full-time or at least a lot more regularly. I feel the transition and things I was used to in Europe fared me well here, there are some differences obviously &ndash; the circuits are a little more tight and twisty, bumpier, a wider variety with ovals, street circuits and road courses. The variety is higher and it still feels pure. In F1, there are such massive differences between cars with engines and whatnot. Over here, in IndyCar, it is somewhat of a spec series &ndash; everyone gets the same Dallara chassis and the only difference is whether you run a Chevrolet or Honda engine, and the bodykit to match each engine. I feel like if you hit your day well, everybody has an opportunity to win and that&rsquo;s something you can&rsquo;t say about F1.</p> <p><strong>Of course, you&rsquo;ve got the Indy 500 coming up, which is pretty big&hellip; how did that deal come about?</strong></p> <p>JH: &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been working on this for 18 months or so, there was a slight chance to get in a car last year. We just couldn&rsquo;t quite make it happen in time, so after that we looked at what we could do and what we had, in the end we made the decision to not do any single event races other than the Indy 500. It is something we could sell to sponsors and it&rsquo;s the biggest race of the year. I don&rsquo;t know what we are going to do post-Indy, we will work with our sponsors and see what they want to do. Honestly, it came about through a lot of hard work in what was difficult circumstances. When we got the deal signed it was a sense of excitement, relief, a weight off my shoulders. On the flip side, you feel like because it&rsquo;s happening there&rsquo;s more pressure. Because it&rsquo;s not something you&rsquo;re dreaming about anymore, it&rsquo;s actually happening. It&rsquo;s difficult to really sum up.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" height="440" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_9112-1.png" width="800" /></p> <p><strong>JL: What are your thoughts on Alonso being your team-mate?</strong></p> <p>JH: &ldquo;So random and crazy, and awesome. It&rsquo;s a situation I never expected myself to be in, especially as he was a childhood hero of mine. It&rsquo;s pretty bizarre and it&rsquo;s been a pretty cool experience so far. He&rsquo;s been a super nice guy and I&rsquo;m just excited to keep learning from him.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>JL: We&rsquo;ve seen a lot about the Rookie Orientation Programme recently, for people not familiar, what does that include?</strong></p> <p>JH: &ldquo;Basically, it&rsquo;s to be able to show the Speedway you can control the car at different speeds. The first phase is 205mph to 210, second is 210mph to 215 and phase three is 215mph upwards. It&rsquo;s more to show them you can control the car, we are trying to get our phase finished. We had a couple of issues yesterday [Monday]. <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14677">One scary one</a> [the crash], which the team has taken full responsibility failure for. We had the steering column come apart, which was pretty nerve-wracking. But the amount of people on my car trying to fix everything is a good sign that it is going to be as safe as it can be and ready to go today [Tuesday].</p> <p><strong>JL: Are you all OK, no aches or pains?</strong></p> <p>JH: &ldquo;No, nothing like that. I was only coming out of the pits so it happened at a relatively slow speed. But I don&rsquo;t want anything like that to happen again, that&rsquo;s for sure.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>JL: You&rsquo;ve already been on track for Indy 500 practice, how did the car feel?</strong></p> <p>JH: &ldquo;I felt super comfortable, I was pretty happy with everything. I was just looking forward to getting out and getting in a few more laps than we did, but we have time today [Tuesday] and the rest of the week to make up for it. I did feel comfortable which I was happy about and hopefully we have got rid of some of those teething problems to try again.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" height="440" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/_JHH4927.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p><strong>JL: As you&rsquo;ve raced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before&hellip;</strong></p> <p>JH: &ldquo;Yeah, I did the Indy Lights and won the Freedom 100 on Carb Day. I know I can get around here OK and it&rsquo;s a track I feel I have gone well at before. I&rsquo;m optimistic we can have a good month.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>JL: With that experience and there being such a long period of practice, do you think that makes the race more accessible for rookie drivers?</strong></p> <p>JH: &ldquo;For sure, you get so much more track time. You can never beat time just purely on track and that was another reason for doing the Indy 500, as opposed to other races where you may get an hour on track before qualifying. Here, you get six hours available every day for&hellip; I can&rsquo;t remember how many days. It&rsquo;s 30 hours of track time before qualifying and then another full day after that, so there&rsquo;s plenty of time on track and I think that&rsquo;s why you see a lot of rookies doing the Indy 500.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>JL: What are your aims for your first Indy 500?</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;I think we&rsquo;d like to be Rookie of the Year, that&rsquo;s the goal for all rookies I think. If we were in the top 10 at the end of the day that would be a fantastic result. If you aare in the top 10, other things could happen and somewhere in that region could would be a really strong day in the office.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>JL: The Indy 500 can be so unpredictable too&hellip;</strong></p> <p>JH: &ldquo;It definitely can be and that&rsquo;s what is exciting about it. You never know what is going to happen and if you are on the lead lap with 30 or 40 laps to go, anything is possible. As long as we are still there by the end of the race we should be fine.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>JL: Looking beyond that, what are your hopes for racing in the next few seasons?</strong></p> <p>JH: &ldquo;It totally depends on sponsorship, would I like a to [be in IndyCar]? Yes, of course. Do I think it is possible? I think it&rsquo;s possible, but I just want to be back in a car full time really. Whatever that is, the single event weekends are tough, I know Indy is not just over a weekend but a month but I&rsquo;d like to be back in a full-time drive. Hopefully it could be in IndyCar but if not, I just want to be sure I am getting to drive something.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14682http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14682Video: Watch Fernando Alonso's double overtake during Indy 500 practiceWed, 17 May 2017 10:52:52 GMT<p>Watch Fernando Alonso&#39;s double overtake during practice for the 101st Indy 500.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14680http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14680Will Power fastest in Indy 500 second practiceTue, 16 May 2017 22:36:28 GMT<p><strong>Will Power has topped the second practice session ahead of the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, after a day focused on race simulations by many teams and drivers.</strong></p> <p>The 2014 champion sat atop the classification for the majority of the session, with a 224.656mph lap which was considerably slower than the benchmark produced by Marco Andretti during the opening practice session yesterday.</p> <p>At the start of the day rookies Jack Harvey and Zach Veach were allowed 15 minutes of track action to themselves to try and finalise their rookie orientation programmes after both drivers suffered an interrupted opening day of practice.</p> <p>Once Harvey and Veach had completed their 15 minutes of private track time the rest of the field joined the action, with many teams focusing mainly on running all of their cars at once nose-to-tail out on track to try and prepare their drivers for race day.</p> <p>Helio Castroneves joined team-mate Power at the top as the day wore on, with the veteran racer eventually ending proceedings P2 overall.</p> <p>Gabby Chaves made a late improvement during the final hour of the session for rookie outfit Harding Racing, completing a 223.991mph lap.</p> <p>The 2014 IndyLights champion is competing in his third Indianapolis 500 race for a third different team, and will be looking to use as much of his experience as possible to assist one of the newest IndyCar teams throughout the month of May.</p> <p>Ryan Hunter-Reay was fourth fastest for Andretti Autosport, ahead of returnee Sage Karam.</p> <p>Karam started the day in competitive form, trading the top spot with the likes of Ed Carpenter and Josef Newgarden.&nbsp;</p> <p>Takuma Sato was P6 after a productive day, with the Andretti Autosport drivers completing lots of laps together on track throughout the session.</p> <p>Mikhail Aleshin was seventh, with the Russian racer even rising to the top at one stage during the day.</p> <p>Despite Aleshin&rsquo;s pace, his day ended after a very light tap against the SAFER barrier which forced him to return to the pits.</p> <p>Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud was P8 ahead of J.R. Hildebrand, with Newgarden rounding out the top ten as Penske also completed considerable laps together on track.</p> <p>Although the day ran incident-free there were 11 caution periods for debris and various track inspections.</p> <p>Further down the order double Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso could only manage P24 for McLaren-Honda-Andretti, with a 221.029mph lap.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Spaniard completed 117 laps altogether, gaining valuable experience handling an Indycar in traffic, particularly towards the end of the day.</p> <p>Meanwhile James Hinchcliffe&rsquo;s team managed to finally rectify his electrical issue, with the Canadian racer returning to the track with two hours and 44 minutes left.</p> <p>This enabled him to complete 60 laps and end the day a respectable P29 considering his delayed start.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14679http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14679James Hinchcliffe hindered by electrical fault in Indy 500 practiceTue, 16 May 2017 18:03:10 GMT<p><strong>James Hinchcliffe has been struck with a recurring electrical fault, as preparations continue for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at the iconic 2.5-mile oval.</strong></p> <p>Towards the end of the opening practice session Hinchcliffe was initially plagued by the electrical fault, which forced him to return to the pits and prematurely conclude his running, preventing him from completing vital group running with team-mates Mikhail Aleshin and Jay Howard.</p> <p>Between first and second practice Hinchcliffe&rsquo;s mechanics worked on the car to rectify the issue, however during his first lap in second practice Hinchcliffe was forced to slow and limp back to the pits with the issue still plaguing his #5 machine.</p> <p>&ldquo;I have to admit we had some electrical problems at the end of the day yesterday that stopped us from our group run,&rdquo; explained Hinchcliffe to <a href="http://indycar.com">IndyCar.com</a> during second practice.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Unfortunately on our first run today they snuck back in, so gremlins on the car and we&rsquo;re going to go and change out everything electronic that we haven&rsquo;t changed out yet and hopefully that fixes the problem.&rdquo;</p> <p>Despite the ongoing electrical issues Hinchcliffe is remaining confident ahead of Indianapolis 500, a race in which the 30-year-old Canadian racer has experienced both extreme highs and lows.</p> <p>Last season Hinchcliffe stormed to pole position at The Brickyard, eventually finishing the race P7.</p> <p>The year before the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports racer was involved in a life-threatening incident during practice, when he made contact with the barrier and a piece of the suspension penetrated his right leg and upper left thigh.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve got a lot of confidence obviously coming into the month of May after last year,&rdquo; continued Hinchcliffe.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The technical regulations are pretty similar so not a whole lot should&rsquo;ve changed but you know what it&rsquo;s like in the IndyCar Series, it&rsquo;s so competitive.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Everybody would&rsquo;ve been pushing hard over the winter and we&rsquo;ll just have to see where we shake out.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14677http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14677Jack Harvey: Broken steering column caused Indy 500 practice crashTue, 16 May 2017 14:52:07 GMT<p>British IndyCar driver Jack Harvey says a broken steering column caused his crash on the first day of Indianapolis 500 practice.</p> <p>Two-time Indy Lights runner-up Harvey is making his IndyCar and Indy 500 debut with Andretti and Michael Shank Racing this year.</p> <p>He was driving in first practice for the 101st running of the Indy 500 when his car hit the Turn 2 barrier with two hours of the session remaining.</p> <p>&ldquo;We had a couple of issues yesterday,&rdquo; he told <em>MotorsportWeek.com</em>. &ldquo;One scary one [the crash], which the team has taken full responsibility for.</p> <p>&ldquo;We had the steering column come apart, which was pretty nerve-wracking.</p> <p>&ldquo;But the amount of people on my car trying to fix everything last night is a good sign that it is going to be as safe as it can be and ready to go today.&rdquo;</p> <p>It was a slow-speed impact with the wall and he felt no ill effects, adding: &ldquo;I was only coming out of the pits so it happened at a relatively slow speed. But I don&rsquo;t want anything like that to happen again, that&rsquo;s for sure.&rdquo;</p> <p>Harvey&rsquo;s first impressions of the car were positive and he quickly settled in. &ldquo;I felt super comfortable, I was pretty happy with everything,&rdquo; he explained.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was just looking forward to getting out and getting in a few more laps than we did, but we have time today and the rest of the week to make up for it. Hopefully today we have got rid of some of those teething problems to try again.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14676http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14676Video: Indy Dreams – Simon Pagenaud on ambition & Ayrton SennaTue, 16 May 2017 14:12:22 GMT<p>2016 was a year to remember for IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud. Having secured the series title, the Frenchman now has his sights set on a repeat performance this year, starting with the much-coveted Indy 500 &ndash; a race he considers to be a &lsquo;dream&rsquo; to win. Mobil 1 The Grid caught up with the Penske driver to find out more about his hopes for 2017 and why Brazil&rsquo;s Ayrton Senna remains an inspiration to his racing career.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14674http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/14674Fernando Alonso 'happier' after first Indy 500 practiceTue, 16 May 2017 12:59:25 GMT<p><strong>Fernando Alonso has explained that he felt &ldquo;happier&rdquo; in his Honda-powered McLaren-Andretti car during the opening day of practice ahead of the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 in comparison to his first IndyCar experience earlier in the month.</strong></p> <p>The double Formula 1 champion immediately set the pace during the two-hour rookie orientation/refresher programme at the start of the day, setting a 221.634mph lap to end the session fastest overall ahead of fellow countryman Oriol Servia.</p> <p>Despite receiving a private rookie orientation programme of his own earlier in the month, Alonso was still slightly wary of returning to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as temperatures were much higher than experienced during his earlier test day.</p> <p>&quot;I was a little bit concerned (heading in) about the conditions, about the temperature, as it was much hotter today than at the test we did here on May 3rd,&rdquo; explained Alonso, who was P19 overall in the first official practice session later in the day.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;But no, the car felt as good as it did at the test, and I was able to make some setup changes without losing the confidence in the car.&rdquo;</p> <p>Although Alonso managed to complete a considerable amount of running in the ROP earlier in the day, the Spaniard could only manage 20 laps during the first official practice session after his running was curtailed due to a mechanical issue.</p> <p>&ldquo;The last half an hour maybe we had some issues with the rear suspension, and we could not complete the program that we had planned to run a little bit in traffic at the end of the day, so we missed that part, but overall it was an amazing day.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I&#39;m happier than the first day with the car because I was able to feel some of the setup changes that we were planning in the morning. &nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We did not do much running in traffic, so that&#39;s still the thing that I need to go through in the next couple of days.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;But I did two or three laps behind some cars that were going out of pit lane, and it was good fun.&quot;</p>