IndyCar, Barber Motorsports Park

IndyCar sticks with Barber through 2016

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The IZOD IndyCar Series will visit the picturesque Barber Motorsports Park outside Birmingham, Alabama for another three years. Curt Cavin of The Indianapolis Star first broke the news last night of a new contract that will see IndyCar race at the 2.3-mile road course through the 2016 season, and a formal announcement is expected this morning.

In 2010, IndyCar began staging events at the Alabama circuit, which has drawn great crowds during its time as a stop for the series. The Barber race has made an impact on the Magic City and the state at large, with last year’s running earning “Best Annual Event” and “Best Sporting Event” honors from the readers of Birmingham Magazine, and the 2011 race earning the “Alabama Event of the Year” award from the state’s tourism department.

The new pact between IndyCar and Barber would also appear to put thoughts of the race possibly going away to rest. Earlier this week, the prospect was raised after Birmingham officials were unable to approve the amount of funding that the city would provide for this year’s event (the fourth in its history); instead, the city will be providing an “in-kind” contribution.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”