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Indianapolis 500 to be held without fans for 104th edition in 2020

Share this article on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email The Indianapolis 500 will be held behind closed doors for the first time in its 104-year history in 2020 due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indiana. IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway were initially hoping the race could run at 50 percent crowd capacity, which was further reduced to 25 percent last month. However, it was announced today that the 23 August event, rescheduled from its traditional Memorial Day Weekend date on 24 May, would not be open to the public. The IMS statement said the decision to run the event without fans had been made "following careful consideration and extensive consultation with state and city leadership". "As dedicated as we were to running the race this year with 25 percent attendance at our large outdoor facility, even with meaningful and careful precautions implemented by the city and state, the COVID-19 trends in Marion County and Indiana have worsened,..

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Castroneves targets full-time IndyCar return in 2021

Share this article on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Helio Castroneves is targeting a full-time ride in the IndyCar Series next season, but expects this month's Indianapolis 500 to be his final drive for Team Penske in single-seaters. With Acura and Team Penske having announced that their partnership will dissolve following November's final round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship - and with the latter having no replacement sportscar programme for 2021 - drivers Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron and Ricky Taylor have been informed they're free to chase rides elsewhere. On the back of an excellent victory with Taylor in last weekend's IMSA race at Road America, Castroneves, who had made a reluctant switch from Team Penske's IndyCar programme to its revived sportscar squad at the end of 2017, said he is seeking the chance to re-establish himself in single-seaters. "I'll be honest, I'm looking for it, I wanna go back," th..

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Mid-Ohio IndyCar double-header postponed due to USA’s COVID-19 spike

Share this article on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Next week's IndyCar double-header at Mid-Ohio has been postponed due to ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic which is still surging in several parts of the USA. The round at Mid-Ohio was reorganised as a double-header event following the cancellation of the race at Portland, the result of Oregon State's increasing crowd-gathering restrictions designed to contain the pandemic. With the cancellation of the Laguna Seca round too following a rise in cases in California, Mid-Ohio was joined by Gateway and a second visit to the Indianapolis road course in hosting double-header rounds to increase the numbers of races on the calendar. But the virus' continued spread, including an additional 1,500 cases reported on Friday in the state of Ohio, means that the two races at the Lexington venue have been put on hold after consultation with local health officials. This brought Ohio's total recorded ca..

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Brown open to running Alonso in 2021 Indy 500 despite Renault deal

Share this article on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Zak Brown says he would be open to fielding Fernando Alonso in next year's Indianapolis 500 with McLaren should the Spaniard's Formula 1 deal with Renault allow. Alonso is set to make his latest Indy 500 appearance later this month, driving a third car entered into the race by the McLaren Arrow SP squad alongside full-season drivers Pato O'Ward and Oliver Askew. Alonso has already confirmed he will return to F1 in 2021 after signing a multi-year agreement with Renault, ending a two-season stint out of the sport. PLUS: How Renault plans to manage the "new" Alonso But McLaren Racing CEO Brown said he would be open to still working with Alonso on the team's IndyCar project if Renault allowed for such a deal to happen. McLaren currently uses Renault power units in F1, but will switch to Mercedes in 2021. Next year's Indy 500 looks set to avoid a clash with the Monaco Grand Prix, creating the ..

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Daly’s Indy 500 entry to be overseen by renowned crew chief Pearn

Share this article on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Conor Daly's Ed Carpenter Racing Indy 500 entry will be overseen by renowned crew chief Cole Pearn, who took Martin Truex Jr to the 2017 NASCAR Cup title. Pearn became crew chief for Truex in 2015 before going on to take the title two seasons later, while last year they earned seven wins - more than any other entrant. Pearn quit full-time NASCAR competition at the end of 2019 to return to his native Canada and run a business with his wife, but he has served as an analyst for NASCAR.com. He will become lead engineer on Daly's third ECR entry for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 on 23 August, alongside three-time Indy 500 polesitter and team owner Carpenter and full-time ECR driver Rinus VeeKay. "I am super excited to get a chance to compete in the Indy 500 with Conor Daly and Ed Carpenter Racing," said Pearn. "I wasn't sure when I would want to get back to racing, but this is a great opportu..

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NASCAR Cup’s Johnson impresses Ganassi’s Hull, Dixon on maiden IndyCar run

Share this article on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has impressed Chip Ganassi team boss Mike Hull and five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon after completing a test on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course. Johnson, whose last open-wheel action was testing a McLaren Formula 1 car in a car swap with Fernando Alonso at Bahrain, was supposed to try out with Arrow McLaren SP in April at Barber Motorsports Park, but all racing activity was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. Then in late June, it was announced that he was to test with Ganassi on the IMS road course on 8 July, but the plan was thwarted by Johnson testing positive for COVID-19. But on 28 July, the plan with Ganassi came together and Johnson tested Felix Rosenqvist's car with a limited number of team personnel that included Chip Ganassi himself, along with Hull and Dixon, and completed over 100 laps. Afterward, Johnson tweeted a one-minute video ..

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Ericsson: Ganassi had “question marks about me” after first IndyCar season

Share this article on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Marcus Ericsson says his Chip Ganassi Racing team had "question marks" about him after his inconsistent rookie IndyCar season last year, but believes he has "taken big steps" in 2020. The Swedish driver made the switch to US open-wheel racing after five seasons in Formula 1 with the Caterham, Sauber and Alfa Romeo squads, scoring 18 points in 97 starts. Joining Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Ericsson struggled in qualifying and only once started inside the top 10 and finished 17th in the standings, having missed the penultimate round at Portland while on standby for Kimi Raikkonen at the Belgian Grand Prix. Ericsson told Autosport that although he had scored his maiden podium with second at Detroit, there were still uncertainty within the Ganassi camp, the team having expanded to run a third car for the Swede alongside five-time series champion Scott Dixon and 2019 rookie of the year Felix Rosenqvist. PLUS: How Gan..

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IndyCar confirms cancellations of Portland and Laguna Seca rounds

Share this article on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email The IndyCar Series will not compete at either Portland or Laguna Seca in 2020, and will run double-headers at Mid-Ohio, Gateway and the Indianapolis road course in their place. As revealed yesterday, the Grand Prix of Portland has fallen victim to Oregon's increasing crowd-gathering restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the surging number of active coronavirus cases in California, and expected quarantine measures, have spelled the end of hopes for the Laguna Seca event. There have been approximately 450,000 recorded cases of coronavirus in California, leading the state to reintroduce lockdown procedures to curb any further infections. IndyCar's press release stated that "The cancellation of both event weekends was a mutual decision between the series and promoters following close consultation and monitoring of the local situation. "The series looks forward to returning to both venues i..

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IndyCar Portland race to be cancelled with Mid-Ohio made a double-header

Share this article on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email The IndyCar Series' Mid-Ohio round is set to become a double-header to effectively replace this year's Grand Prix of Portland which has been cancelled. Teams were informed on Thursday of the decision to cancel the 2020 race at Portland International Raceway, and public confirmation is currently expected on Monday. Oregon's state-wide crowd-gathering restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic posed a challenge for Portland to host a race, even without fans present, given the number of IndyCar and team personnel needed in the paddock. Earlier this week, Oregon's Governor Kate Brown announced a further cut down to maximum to 100 people, as the state's number of active coronavirus cases continues to rise. It means Portland, which only returned to the IndyCar race calendar in 2018 after an 11-year hiatus, will miss out this season. The event's promoters, Green Savoree Racing Promotions, h..

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Third IndyCar engine supplier “will happen” amid Ferrari speculation – Frye

Share this article on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email IndyCar president Jay Frye says he remains confident that a third engine manufacturer will join Chevrolet and Honda in the IndyCar Series, as speculation increases that it will be Ferrari. Ferrari Formula 1 team principal Mattia Binotto told SkySport Italia in mid-May that the company was evaluating the viability of an IndyCar project as F1 introduces budget caps, freeing up financial and human resources for other projects. Roger Penske, who currently owns both IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said earlier this month that Ferrari is "definitely interested in coming", and now Frye says he believes a third manufacturer will happen "sooner or later". Frye told Autosport: "As you know, there have been conversations going on with various manufacturers for a few years, but now with Roger being here, that adds another new and very positive element for us. "I hate saying anything because people will say, &#039..

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