Testing schedule busy this week for IndyCar teams

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With Pocono Raceway coming up next on the schedule, a majority of the IZOD IndyCar Series teams are taking the opportunity to test there on Tuesday afternoon.

The test, which is closed to the public, will see eight teams and 15 drivers turning laps around the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” in Pennsylvania. Two of those drivers, Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti and Team Penske’s Will Power, were part of an earlier test there in April (pictured) that focused on tires and setting the proper aero package.

Here’s the list of competitors that will be at Pocono on Tuesday seeking to gain an early edge for the Pocono INDYCAR 400 on July 7:

  • ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT: Ryan Hunter-Reay, EJ Viso, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti
  • DRAGON RACING: Sebastian Saavedra and Sebastien Bourdais
  • ED CARPENTER RACING: Ed Carpenter
  • PANTHER RACING: Ryan Briscoe
  • KV RACING TECHNOLOGY: Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro
  • RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN: Graham Rahal and James Jakes
  • SARAH FISHER HARTMAN RACING: Josef Newgarden
  • TEAM PENSKE: Helio Castroneves and Will Power

Tuesday will also see Dale Coyne Racing’s Justin Wilson testing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which will welcome the series on Aug. 4 with the Honda Indy 200. As for the Chip Ganassi Racing contingent, the “Team Target” duo of Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon, as well as American pilot Charlie Kimball, will all be testing Wednesday down at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.

After the Pocono sessions, Power himself will head to Michigan for a straight-line test on Wednesday at General Motors’ proving grounds.

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.