Detroit winners Conway, Pagenaud look to climb tomorrow in Toronto

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The IZOD IndyCar Series’ most recent street-course winners, Mike Conway and Simon Pagenaud, may have to show some patience if they want to contend in tomorrow’s first race of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader (3 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network).

Both of them were victorious during the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit weekend at Belle Isle back in early June, but for tomorrows’ race, Pagenaud and Conway will be starting unofficially from 12th and 20th respectively.

Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports’ Pagenaud, who came from sixth starting position to win the second Detroit Dual, said that brake issues on his No. 77 HP Honda kept him from a potential pole run.

“We’ve got a really fast car, and I’m honestly very happy with it,” the Frenchman said. “I’m very frustrated, though, because I couldn’t extract the full potential of what the HP car has in it because we’re having brake problems.

“We’ve had the issue since this morning’s practice. When I hit the brake, I can’t stop the car properly, which obviously makes it very difficult to drive. It’s a shame because we had a pole position car today.”

Also expecting to be quick tomorrow is Conway, who is back with Dale Coyne Racing this weekend after finishing first and third with them in the Detroit weekend.

“We have some work ahead of us in tomorrow’s race, but I am confident that we can get the No. 18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda up to the front of the field,” said Conway. “This is a long race and anything can happen, especially with this standing start. I know the team is going to give me the best car possible for the race.”

Pagenaud finished 12th in his Toronto debut last season, while Conway netted a third-place finish for A.J. Foyt Racing after crashing out in 2009 and 2011 (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing).

Watch this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto online and on your mobile device.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”