IndyCar prospects take on the Brickyard in Freedom 100

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Friday’s Freedom 100 for the Firestone Indy Lights (Noon ET, NBC Sports Network) will feature only 11 cars on the starting grid, but there’s still racing’s ultimate form of bragging rights on the line: Victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Headlining the Freedom 100 field is Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz (pictured), who is also on the front row for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 in a fifth Andretti car. Munoz currently leads the FIL points and will seek to become the fourth driver to compete in both the 100 and the 500 on the same weekend (Sebastian Saavedra, Marty Roth, Jeff Simmons).

But Munoz will likely have to go through the four Schmidt Peterson Motorsports drivers — Gabby Chaves, Sage Karam, Jack Hawksworth and Indiana’s own Kyle O’Gara — in order to win his first race of the weekend. Sam Schmidt’s FIL operation is the series’ resident dynasty, and in the Freedom 100, the team has won an astonishing seven times with six different drivers since the race’s inception in 2003.

It will be interesting to see how the six rookie drivers in the field fare against the world-famous Brickyard. Lights drivers and teams will only have one day of practice and qualifying tomorrow before going into the 40-lap race on Friday for Carb Day. All six rookies are making their first start at Indy, and O’Gara and fellow Hoosier Jimmy Simpson are making their first Lights start altogether.

Also in the field is Chase Austin, who was announced last year as the driver for a second A.J. Foyt Racing machine in this year’s “500.” That ride did not pan out due to a lack of funds, but Austin is still here at the Brickyard for a third consecutive year.

FIRESTONE FREEDOM 100
Entry List

2-Juan Pablo Garcia, Team Moore Racing

4-Jorge Goncalvez, Belardi Auto Racing

5-Peter Dempsey, Belardi Auto Racing

7-Gabby Chaves, Schmidt Peterson w/Curb-Agajanian

8-Sage Karam, Schmidt Peterson w/Curb-Agajanian

12-Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport

22-Jimmy Simpson, Team Moore Racing

26-Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport

28-Chase Austin, Jeffrey Mark Motorsport/BHA w/Curb-Agajanian

67-Kyle O’Gara, Schmidt Peterson w/Curb-Agajanian

77-Jack Hawksworth, Schmidt Peterson w/Curb-Agajanian

Watch Friday’s Indianapolis 500 Carb Day (11 a.m. ET) online or on your mobile device.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.