Teams back down over tires as Ecclestone pushes for Pirelli test

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The three F1 teams who blocked Pirelli’s attempt to introduce a new construction of tire in response to earlier failures say they will no longer oppose the move.

Meanwhile plans are afoot for Pirelli to be granted the chance to conduct two three-day tire tests to prevent a repeat of the potentially dangerous failures seen during the British Grand Prix.

Ferrari, Lotus and Force India previously opposed Pirelli’s plan to switch from tires with steel belts to Kevlar as they claimed it would hand their rivals an advantage. Pirelli wanted to make the change after a series of delaminations occurred earlier in the season.

However in the light of the multiple failures at Silverstone the trio have removed their objections. Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali said: “It’s important to move forward and solve the issue because it’s something that is very important for all of us.” Ferrari were among the teams to suffer a failure on Sunday.

Formula One commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt have agreed to grant an exception to the ban on in-season testing to find a solution to the problem.

“[Pirelli have] said they’d like to sort it out, but they don’t have a chance to do any testing because of these silly restrictions we have,” said Ecclestone.

“But I spoke to Jean Todt over the weekend and he has said ‘Let them test’.

“So he has allowed them to run two three-day tests between now and… well, when they want, to try to do something for next year, as well as this year, so that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

IndyCar star Scott Dixon to test skills on ‘American Ninja Warrior’

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Scott Dixon will be the latest IndyCar driver to enter the realm of reality TV when he auditions in Indianapolis next week for “American Ninja Warrior.”

The four-time IndyCar champion, nicknamed “The Iceman,” thought it sounded fun when he was approached with the idea of trying out. As the competition has drawn near, Dixon is wondering what he got himself into.

“I feel a lot of pressure on this one,” Dixon told The Associated Press before heading to this weekend’s Honda Grand Prix of Alabama IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. “When it got to be about a month away, I figured I should start training for it, and it’s pretty hard stuff.”

IndyCar drivers Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden and Tony Kanaan all auditioned for the show, which follows competitors as they tackle a series of obstacle courses in qualifying rounds across the country. None of IndyCar’s contestants advanced out of the first round and neither did NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Dixon’s appearance comes about the same time the Game Show Network has Sebastien Bourdais as a guest host for “Daily Draw” for the entire week leading into the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Most recently, Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly teamed to finish fourth on “The Amazing Race,” and James Hinchcliffe was a runner-up last year on “Dancing With The Stars.” Castroneves is a former “DWTS” winner.

Dixon, the 2008 winner of the Indianapolis 500 who ranks fourth on IndyCar’s all-time wins list, is accustomed to success. But the New Zealander not so sure he’s going to become the next great ninja. Most of his fitness work focuses on endurance training, and preparing for the obstacle course has taken Dixon out of his element.

“It’s not my wheelhouse,” he said. “This is agility kind of stuff and I’m looking forward to the process. I’m not looking forward so much to the failure, because it’s going to happen at some point, so I guess I just have to make the most of it and enjoy the experience.”

Dixon was famously robbed at gunpoint in the drive-thru of a Taco Bell last year hours after he won the pole for the Indy 500. Asked if his ninja training will have him better prepared should that happen again, he did not think so.

“I suppose if I run away it would help,” Dixon said. “But I don’t exactly have a ninja toolkit to get me through that situation.”