IndyCar issues fresh engine update prior to Sonoma

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INDYCAR issued a fresh engine update prior to this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (4 p.m. EST, Sunday, NBCSN). All cars but one are either on their fourth or fifth engines. Once teams change to a sixth, further penalties will apply.

There have not been the same number of engine grid penalties issued this year as last, but there are still five races remaining. Thus far, Andretti Autosport, Team Penske, KV Racing Technology, A.J. Foyt Enterprises and Barracuda Racing have only had one engine penalty issued for unapproved changes. Panther Racing, Dragon Racing, and Ed Carpenter Racing have yet to be hit with one. All other teams have two or more; Chip Ganassi Racing, between its three cars, has taken a series-high six grid penalties.

The breakdown as issued by INDYCAR is below:

CAR   ENTRANT                          DRIVER            ENGINE STATUS
No. 1  Andretti Autosport                    Ryan Hunter-Reay    On Engine #4
No. 3  Team Penske                           Helio Castroneves   On Engine #5
No. 4  Panther Racing                        Ryan Briscoe        On Engine #4
No. 5  Team Venezuela-Andretti Autosport-HVM E.J. Viso           On Engine #4
No. 6  Dragon Racing                         Sebastian Saavedra  On Engine #4
No. 7  Dragon Racing                         Sebastien Bourdais  On Engine #4
No. 9  Target Chip Ganassi Racing            Scott Dixon         On Engine #4
No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing            Dario Franchitti    On Engine #5
No. 11 KV Racing Technology                  Tony Kanaan         On Engine #4
No. 12 Team Penske                           Will Power          On Engine #4
No. 14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises                 Takuma Sato         On Engine #4
No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing        Graham Rahal        On Engine #5
No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing        James Jakes         On Engine #5
No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing                     James Davison       On Engine #6* 
No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing                     Justin Wilson       On Engine #4
No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing                   Ed Carpenter        On Engine #4
No. 25 Andretti Autosport                    Marco Andretti      On Engine #4
No. 27 Andretti Autosport                    James Hinchcliffe   On Engine #4
No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports          Tristan Vautier     On Engine #5
No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing           Josef Newgarden     On Engine #5
No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports          Simon Pagenaud      On Engine #4
No. 78 KV Racing Technology                  Simona De Silvestro On Engine #4
No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing      Charlie Kimball     On Engine #4
No. 98 Barracuda Racing                      JR Hildebrand       On Engine #4

*Davison’s car, as it is on sixth engine, is not eligible to score manufacturer points if it is the highest-finishing Honda engine.

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.”