Sage Karam wins at Iowa, takes Indy Lights points lead

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Sage Karam remains undefeated at Iowa Speedway. The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver has now won at the 7/8-mile bullring for the fourth consecutive year after holding off teammate Gabby Chaves by less than three-tenths of a second to take the Firestone Indy Lights’ Sukup 100.

“I saw the opportunity, took it and that was it,” said Karam, who took the lead for good from Jack Hawksworth on Lap 49. “We had a good race.  I will tell you what, that was one of the hardest victories I’ve had to work for.  That definitely goes down as the best drive I’ve ever had.”

Karam won a USF2000 race at Iowa in 2010, and then followed that up with a pair of Pro Mazda wins there in 2011 and 2012. Now he’s pulled off his biggest win yet in the cornfields and has also assumed the Indy Lights points lead by nine points over Carlos Munoz, who finished three laps down in eighth position because of an undefined problem.

“Don’t know what really happened,” said Munoz, who had won the pole for the 115-lap race. “On the first lap, we had a huge problem with the front tires that wasn’t there [before]. We were good all weekend and then something was wrong with the race.”

Chaves attempted to take a shot at Karam in the closing laps but also had to deal with Hawksworth trying to grab his runner-up position.

“It’s a bit hard running in dirty air,” said Chaves after his fourth podium of the year. “I had a good run on Sage and he defended. It’s just hard keeping the car down on the racing line when you’re so close to the car in front as well as trying to keep another car behind you. You’re working twice as hard.”

Hawksworth came home third, completing a lockout of the podium for SPM.

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.