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A fire on the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet has ended a dramatic early march for Will Power through the Sao Paulo Indy 300 field.
Power, who will not have a chance to claim a fourth consecutive win at Sao Paulo, had started 22nd on the grid but quickly sliced through the middle of the pack and ran as high as 11th before the flames began to emerge on his machine. The Australian slowed down on the backstretch before bringing his smoking Bowtie to a stop on the Sambadromo main straight.
“Obviously, we burned something with the gear shifter,” Power said to NBC Sports Network’s Kevin Lee. “It stopped shifting so I was looking for the manual shift…We don’t know what happened, [I] had no real warning. Unfortunate — we had such a good car, man! I was passing a car a lap.”
The fire continues a tough start to the 2013 season for Power, who is sure to tumble out of the Top 10 in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship with this result. Power’s retirement from the race marks his first failure to finish a road or street course event since Toronto in 2011.
BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.
In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.
Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.
BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.
The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans
In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.
BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.