Charlie Kimball (pictured), Dario Franchitti, Josef Newgarden and Graham Rahal will be forced to suffer 10-spot grid penalties for the first race of the next IZOD IndyCar Series event — the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit doubleheader on June 1 — due to unapproved engine changes this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Chip Ganassi Racing pilots Kimball and Franchitti swapped Hondas before yesterday’s Pole Day qualifying, while Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing) and Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) switched their own Hondas before this morning’s Bump Day activities. Newgarden and Rahal are currently the two fastest second-day qualifiers, with Newgarden at 225.731 miles per hour and Rahal at 225.007 miles per hour.
Per IndyCar rules, full-time entrants can only use five fresh engines from the mid-March Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park to the season finale in mid-October at Auto Club Speedway. Entrants are only allowed to change powerplants once they meet a mileage threshold of 2,000 miles or receive IndyCar’s approval.
Newgarden and Rahal are each now on their third engines of the season, while Kimball and Franchitti are both on their second engines.
Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.
Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.
Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.
“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.
“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”