IndyCars ready to hit Mid-Ohio’s winding road (VIDEO)

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A pair of highly technical road courses await the IZOD IndyCar Series this August. First up this weekend is Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, a 13-turn, 2.26-mile circuit that keeps drivers busy with a wide variety of challenges – flowing corners, elevation changes, and a narrow track width among them.

Don’t expect oodles of passing at Mid-Ohio. Qualifying up front and having clean, quick pit stops on Race Day will be very important to keeping (or gaining) position here.

However, M-O does have at least one spot where ground can be made up on the track in its right-hand hairpin at Turn 2, a.k.a. “The Keyhole.” A decent amount of action should take place here during the event, which has been stretched to 90 laps (up five from last year’s running) in an attempt to keep fuel saving from impacting the outcome.

As previously alluded to, drivers will have to face a course that really doesn’t give them a break. The esses at Turns 4, 5, and 6 can get rather tight, and considering that IndyCar always begins their Mid-Ohio races at the “kink” at Turn 3 (the finish is at the track’s traditional start/finish line), you’re liable to see multiple instances of contact on starts and restarts through the 4-5-6 complex.

Also, watch out for the right-hand Turn 9 – a blind, off-camber turn that throws in an up-and-down elevation change for good measure.

Tune in Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra to catch the Honda 200 from Mid-Ohio. In the meantime, get acquainted with one of the most challenging road courses in America by checking out the ‘virtual lap’ video above.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”