Sarah Fisher looking ahead to two-car program at Sonoma

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According to former driver and current IZOD IndyCar Series team owner Sarah Fisher, she has wanted to expand her Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing outfit to two cars “from day one.”

She’s hopeful that the next race on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule at Sonoma Raceway (Aug. 25) will help her figure out how to make it happen.

For the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, SFHR will field a second car for the American Le Mans Series’ all-time wins leader, Lucas Luhr, alongside their full-time regular, Josef Newgarden (pictured).

Luhr’s program for Sonoma is a collaboration between the team and partner RW Motorsports, as well as Muscle Milk, which backs Luhr in the ALMS.

“For us, [Sonoma] is one more of those weekends to explore what is it going to take – what do we need when we align it and make it happen,” Fisher said Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where the IndyCars are preparing for tomorrow’s Honda Indy 200 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

“It’s really an exploratory venture for us as well as satisfying what we need to do for [RW owner] Steve Weirich and RW Motorsports. Certainly, having two cars is very valuable, especially with the changing metrics, changing tires, changing things that are ever-evolving in our sport.”

Luhr’s car owner in the ALMS, Greg Pickett, will also be part of SFHR’s group at Sonoma. Pickett has assembled one of the top teams in sports car racing but may be looking at a potential jump to the open-wheel ranks as ALMS and GRAND-AM prepare to merge at season’s end.

Fisher said on Saturday that she admires Pickett and his team’s accomplishments, and that SFHR is excited to have him see what IndyCar has to offer.

“For me, it’s having him on board supporting it, more from a sponsorship standpoint – the ability to give him a headset and see what IndyCar is all about, rather than coming as a race fan,” she said. “He has an interest in what IndyCar does, what the [IZOD] IndyCar Series is overall and who knows where it will go. It’s exploratory on that end as well.

“We’re just really happy to see more and more partners and more and more people have an interest in our sport. We feel a responsibility to expand the [IZOD] IndyCar Series as owners.”

Watch tomorrow’s Honda Indy 200 from Mid-Ohio online and on your mobile device.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”