Indianapolis 500

Indy 500 entry list released Tuesday with 33 cars, 32 drivers


The 97th Indianapolis 500 entry list was officially released Tuesday, in a departure from previous years when it has been announced in April. There may be revisions for the field to hit the 33-car number for the race.

Prior to the release, there were 32 confirmed car/driver combinations: the 25 drivers who have raced in all four IndyCar events this year, and previously announced part-time/one-off entries for AJ Allmendinger (Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (Chip Ganassi Racing), Carlos Munoz (Andretti Autosport), Conor Daly (A.J. Foyt Racing), Michel Jourdain Jr. (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), Pippa Mann (Dale Coyne Racing) and Townsend Bell (Panther Racing).

The only new arrival to the list was a second Ed Carpenter Racing entry, with no driver listed.

Buddy Rice, the 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion who had been linked to a third Schmidt car, was not listed. Expected or anticipated announcements for several other rumored drivers – Bryan Clauson, the Lazier brothers (Buddy and Jaques), Jay Howard and/or Katherine Legge – have also failed to materialize at this point.

In total, the list includes three former 500 winners (three-timers Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti, and 2008 champion Scott Dixon), and four 500 rookies (AJ Allmendinger, Carlos Munoz, Conor Daly and Tristan Vautier).

The entry list breakdown by team and engine manufacturer is below. All 33 cars also have a “T” car, a spare, listed.

Entry Car Driver             Team                C/E/T 

1.     1    Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti               D/C/F 
2.     2    AJ Allmendinger (R)  Penske                 D/C/F
3.     3    Helio Castroneves (W)Penske                 D/C/F
4.     4    JR Hildebrand        Panther                D/C/F
5.     5    EJ Viso              Venezuela/Andretti/HVM D/C/F 
6.     6    Sebastian Saavedra   Dragon                 D/C/F 
7.     7    Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon                 D/C/F 
8.     8    Ryan Briscoe         NTT Chip Ganassi       D/H/F
9.     9    Scott Dixon (W)      Target Chip Ganassi    D/H/F
10.    10   Dario Franchitti (W) Target Chip Ganassi    D/H/F
11.    11   Tony Kanaan          KV                     D/C/F 
12.    12   Will Power           Penske                 D/C/F
13.    14   Takuma Sato          Foyt                   D/H/F
14.    15   Graham Rahal         RLL                    D/H/F
15.    16   James Jakes          RLL                    D/H/F
16.    17   Michel Jourdain Jr.RLL                   D/H/F 
17.    18   Ana Beatriz          Coyne                  D/H/F 
18.    19   Justin Wilson        Coyne                  D/H/F
19.    20   Ed Carpenter         Carpenter              D/C/F
20.    21   Josef Newgarden      Fisher Hartman         D/H/F 
21.    22   Oriol Servia         Panther DRR            D/C/F 
22.    25   Marco Andretti       Andretti               D/C/F
23.    26   Carlos Munoz (R)     Andretti               D/C/F
24.    27   James Hinchcliffe    Andretti               D/C/F
25.    40   TBA                  Carpenter              D/C/F
26.    41   Conor Daly (R)       Foyt                   D/H/F
27.    55   Tristan Vautier (R)  Schmidt Peterson       D/H/F 
28.    60   Townsend Bell        Panther                D/C/F
29.    77   Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt Hamilton       D/H/F
30.    78   Simona de Silvestro  KV                     D/C/F 
31.    83   Charlie Kimball      Novo Nordisk Ganassi   D/H/F
32.    98   Alex Tagliani      Barracuda/BHA          D/H/F 
33.   TBA   Pippa Mann           Coyne                  D/H/F

Raikkonen: No secret to qualifying charge in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 28:  Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari drives during final practice for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 28, 2015 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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Kimi Raikkonen says that there was no secret behind his late charge to third place in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but remains realistic about his chances in Sunday’s race.

After seeing teammate Sebastian Vettel drop out in Q1, Raikkonen led Ferrari’s charge at the Yas Marina Circuit by finishing third behind the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

Raikkonen managed to edge out Force India driver Sergio Perez for P3 with his final lap in Q3, but the Finn said that there was no secret to his late charge.

“No real secret,” Raikkonen said. “Obviously the car has been handling pretty well all weekend.

“The laps haven’t been ideal many times. Even the first run, it was OK the lap, but I knew there was quite a lot of room to improve so I just tried to make one a bit better lap and it was enough.

“Obviously still a bit of a way off from what these guys can do but we did our best today.

“The Mercedes have been very quick today and yesterday, in the lap times they are a bit faster than us, but the race is tomorrow, so let’s see.

“I did my maximum today. Tomorrow is another day, we can only do our best and see where we’ll end up. We’ll try to make a good start and then see how it pans out, going from there and making the right decisions.”

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7am ET on Sunday.

Porsche confirms unchanged line-up for 2016 WEC season

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb
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Following Audi’s press conference earlier today confirming its plans for the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season, Porsche has followed suit by announcing it will be retaining all six of its existing LMP1 drivers for the new campaign.

Porsche enjoyed immense success in 2015 as Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard took the drivers’ championship in dramatic fashion at the 6 Hours of Bahrain, adding to the manufacturers’ title the marque had won three weeks earlier in Shanghai.

The 919 Hybrid LMP1 car took pole position for every race in 2015, and also won Porsche’s first 24 Hours of Le Mans since 1998 with the third entry of Nico Hulkenberg, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber.

However, Porsche confirmed that it will be only racing with its two regular WEC entries at Le Mans next June, reflecting Audi’s move to help cut costs.

Porsche will once again run the same two line-ups, with Webber, Hartley and Bernhard set to defend their championship together with the no. 1 car. Marc Lieb, Neel Jani and Romain Dumas will team up for a third successive year in the second 919 Hybrid.

“The advice of ‘never change a winning team’ is spot on,” LMP1 vice-president Fritz Enzinger said.

“Both our driver trios didn’t only perform brilliantly on track, but have also been with us since the beginning of the programme and have significantly contributed to the Porsche 919 Hybrid’s development.

“We are very proud of these six top drivers, and very pleased all of them are on board for the 2016 world championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours.”

The decision to not run a third car at Le Mans not only ends Hulkenberg’s already-faint hopes of defending his title, but also will leave Tandy and Bamber looking for drives elsewhere.

It also puts an end to speculation that Juan Pablo Montoya could be set to bid for the Triple Crown and race at Le Mans, having tested with Porsche in Bahrain last week.

GP2: Vandoorne breaks win record, Rossi secures P2 in championship

2015 GP2 Series Round 11.
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Saturday 28 November 2015.
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) 
Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
ref: Digital Image _SBL9548
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Stoffel Vandoorne claimed a record-breaking 11th GP2 Series victory in Abu Dhabi on Sunday after seeing off challenges from Pierre Gasly and Raffaele Marciello at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Starting second, Vandoorne made a good start but was unable to pass Gasly on the first lap, forcing him to settle down in P2 for the opening stages of the race.

Vandoorne made his move for the lead on lap four, diving down the inside of Gasly at the turn seven hairpin before establishing an advantage over the field.

Gasly dropped down the order as the option tire runners began to lose grip, prompting an early round of pit stops and allowing Raffaele Marciello to hit the front as the lead driver on primes.

Marciello retained this advantage until stopping at the end of lap 26, but emerged from the pits behind Vandoorne. The Italian was just ahead of Mitch Evans, leaving him to battle for second place in the closing stages against the prime-shod Russian Time racer.

Vandoorne was able to ease home at the front to record his seventh win of the year and 11th in GP2, beating Pastor Maldonado’s existing record of ten to become the most successful driver in the history of the series.

Marciello fended off Evans to finish second by less than one second, while American driver Alexander Rossi closely followed them home in fourth.

The result ensures that Rossi will finish the year as GP2’s vice-champion behind Vandoorne in the final standings.

Tomorrow’s sprint race will see Alex Lynn start from pole position for DAMS after finishing eighth on Saturday. Rio Haryanto will start from P2 by virtue of his seventh-place finish, with Jordan King and Gasly filling the second row of the grid.

New Audi R18 e-tron quattro unveiled; two cars only for Le Mans

Photo: Audi
Photo: Audi
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Audi Sport has revealed its new Audi R18 e-tron quattro, the latest generation of diesel-powered TDI which now will run with a 6 mJ battery hybrid.

The new LMP1 car was unveiled at the annual Audi Sport Finale in Munich, among several other key announcements of note.

Audi will retain its same driver lineup, the lead trio of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler in one car with Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis back as well. After the successive retirements of Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Dindo Capello the last three years, Audi now has the same lineup for consecutive years, for the first time in years.

However, and while the third car trio of Filipe Albuquerque, Marco Bonanomi and Rene Rast was on stage with the six others, Audi confirmed both it and sister brand Porsche will run two cars only at next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, rather than three as each did this year.

It was a jointly agreed upon decision; both operate under the VW Group parent company. It effectively rules out the same trio of Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber and Nico Hulkenberg repeating as a trio, although Porsche will announce the program for its own drivers next month.

“We stay with the TDI, 50 percent more hybrid power,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi LMP1. “Battery storage and high focus on aero as you can see. We are on our way to challenge for WEC and Le Mans wins.”

Here’s a few photos from the reveal, below: