Dubai Autodrome bidding to host pre-season test

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The manager of the Dubai Autodrome has confirmed that the circuit is interested in hosting a test ahead of the 2014 Formula One season.

Four pre-season tests are planned for next season, with the teams and tire supplier Pirelli favoring circuits in Asia due to the hot conditions which are ideal for developing cars and tires. As part of this change, Bahrain is widely expected to host the opening round of the season, whilst Abu Dhabi and Qatar are also thought to be vying for testing slots. However, Richard Birch confirmed that Dubai was also interested in welcoming Formula One for the first time.

“Of course we would welcome the opportunity to host F1 testing at our venue,” Birch told Gulf News. “We have the facilities and Dubai has all the infrastructure required for a week of testing.

“At this stage it is merely talk and speculation as the final decision is not in our hands or even been made as far as we know. But if asked in an official capacity, then we will certainly embrace the project.”

The circuit has been homologated for all FIA events including F1, making it a possibility, and it would certainly allow teams to get a feel for different circuits in order to allow for the best possible development of their cars. Finally, taking F1 to new markets such as Qatar and Dubai will only enhance the sport’s popularity and presence in the Gulf region.

Power, Newgarden, Dixon fastest in first of 2 IndyCar practices today at Barber Motorsports Park

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Will Power was fastest in Friday’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in 1:07.5987 minutes at 122.488 mph in the 45-minute practice session.

Even though he spun off the course during his session, Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden still managed to be second-fastest (121.919 mph at 1:07.9141 minutes), followed by Scott Dixon (121.296 mph/1:082627), Max Chilton (121.251 mph/1:08.2882) and Ed Jones (121.215 mph/1:09.5692).

 

Sixth through 10th were Simon Pagenaud (121.208 mph/1:08.3122), Jordan King (121.113 mph/1:083661), Graham Rahal (121.059 mph/1:08.3964), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (121.029 mph/1:08.4131) and rookie Zach Veach (121.014 mph/1:08.4216).

Here’s the full speed chart:

Incidents:

* Early in the session, Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi ran off the track and into the grass, striking a small sign, but was able to get back on-track. However, Rossi was only able to complete 10 laps, relegating him to 20th-fastest in the 23-car field.

* Moments later, it appeared the rear brakes locked up on Newgarden heading into Turn 5, spinning him into the gravel trap. He was able to get going and returned to the pits for service and was back on-track with less than four minutes remaining in the session.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The second practice session of the day will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. A third practice will take part Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

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