Allmendinger green-lighted for Long Beach race

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AJ Allmendinger’s been given the green light for another IndyCar start with Team Penske in two weeks at Long Beach.

Penske Racing president Tim Cindric confirmed the news on Twitter early Saturday morning.

“Pushing the “go” button for @AJDinger for Long Beach!  Trying to give him as much seat time as we can for @IMS,” he wrote.

Allmendinger finished the three pre-qualifying practice sessions in the top 10, and by Saturday morning’s practice was actually quickest of the three Penske entries, seventh to Will Power in 10th and Helio Castroneves in 12th.

Allmendinger explained the differences between a NASCAR and IndyCar weekend in setup and preparation terms on Friday.

“It’s so funny because on the Cup side of it you have set days,” he said. “Friday you work on qualifying, Saturday you work on race set-up and you go race on Sunday. And here obviously the whole time you’re working on speed, but there’s not a lot of time to work on race set-up. So I think it’s just the process of going through this weekend and figuring out how the weekend goes, how we use out tires and what we’re working on.”

Hartley’s F1 grid penalty streak continues in Abu Dhabi

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Brendon Hartley’s record of receiving a grid penalty at every Formula 1 race he has started is set to continue in Abu Dhabi this weekend after Toro Rosso was forced to change part of his Renault power unit following the last race in Brazil.

Since making his F1 debut at the United States Grand Prix last month, Hartley has faced a grid drop at all three races he has started so far amid ongoing reliability difficulties for power unit supplier Renault.

After being forced to retire from the last race in Brazil two weeks ago due to an engine issue, Hartley has received a 10-place grid penalty for Abu Dhabi after it was confirmed Toro Rosso had changed the MGU-H on his power unit.

Hartley is yet to score any points in F1, having retired from two of his three races so far to make his debut run to P13 in Austin his best result to date.

The Toro Rosso driver finished 20th in FP1 and 19th in FP2 during Friday’s practice sessions in Abu Dhabi as he continued to get to grips with the Yas Marina Circuit.