Another busy weekend coming up for Ryan Briscoe

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The balancing act begins anew this weekend for American Le Mans Series full-timer and IndyCar part-timer Ryan Briscoe.

It all starts Thursday with an Open Test for Panther Racing at Pocono Raceway in advance of Sunday’s Pocono IndyCar 400 at the “Tricky Triangle.” After the test is over, he’ll then head off to Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park, where he’ll compete for Level 5 Motorsports on Saturday in the ALMS’ Northeast Grand Prix.

As a result, Briscoe will not be able to qualify Panther’s No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet that day at Pocono and will make his fifth IndyCar start of the season from the back of the field on Sunday.

“It will be a busy weekend between racing the National Guard Chevrolet at Pocono and the Level 5 car at Lime Rock,” Briscoe said in a statement. “It’s great that Panther is giving me the opportunity to race at Pocono even though I won’t be here Saturday for practice and qualifying. Fortunately, I will be able to prepare the car for the race and it was a big bonus having the test day last week and then the Open Test on Thursday to get as much track time as possible.”

Briscoe’s most recent start with Panther at the Milwaukee Mile came while he was going back and forth from France, where he was preparing for his first 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Level 5 camp.

Team managing partner John Barnes said he wasn’t worried about having to start from the back at Pocono.

“I’m not concerned about missing qualifying and having to start in the back of the field; Pocono is a big place and we’ll have 400 miles to help Ryan work his way to the front,” he said in the same statement. “This is the first time we’ve had an extended period of time to test with him and that will pay off for us on Sunday.”

Panther collected its first Top-10 finish since April in the most recent race at Iowa Speedway, as Oriol Servia turned in a seventh-place result on the short oval.

Hartley’s F1 grid penalty streak continues in Abu Dhabi

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Brendon Hartley’s record of receiving a grid penalty at every Formula 1 race he has started is set to continue in Abu Dhabi this weekend after Toro Rosso was forced to change part of his Renault power unit following the last race in Brazil.

Since making his F1 debut at the United States Grand Prix last month, Hartley has faced a grid drop at all three races he has started so far amid ongoing reliability difficulties for power unit supplier Renault.

After being forced to retire from the last race in Brazil two weeks ago due to an engine issue, Hartley has received a 10-place grid penalty for Abu Dhabi after it was confirmed Toro Rosso had changed the MGU-H on his power unit.

Hartley is yet to score any points in F1, having retired from two of his three races so far to make his debut run to P13 in Austin his best result to date.

The Toro Rosso driver finished 20th in FP1 and 19th in FP2 during Friday’s practice sessions in Abu Dhabi as he continued to get to grips with the Yas Marina Circuit.