Clint Bowyer currently leads an off-strategy Joey Logano as the Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway has crossed the halfway mark.
In real-time points, Bowyer has also taken over the championship lead from Jimmie Johnson, who was invovled in an early incident that also featured his Hendrick Motorsports teammate and Wild Card hopeful, Kasey Kahne.
On a restart at Lap 25, Matt Kenseth got into the back of a slow Jeff Gordon, which caused the field to stack up. Kahne then ran into the back of Johnson, while Jeff Burton and Mark Martin got into back of Kahne.
Kahne went to the garage with radiator and oil cooler damage, while Johnson went to the pits with damage to the front and rear ends of his car. Kahne has since returned to action, and Johnson has been simply logging laps toward the back of the field.
Early leader Logano, who, like Kahne, is also on the Chase bubble, has had an up-and-down night. On Lap 102, a vibration forced him to the pits and put him on an alternate strategy.
He inherited the lead following a cycle of green stops around Lap 120-130, but had to stop on Lap 152 as he was unable to get the caution he needed. Another green cycle of stops later on put Logano back in the lead briefly, but Bowyer would gain the point again on the track.
Scuderia Ferrari has taken the wraps off its 2017 chassis as the launch week continues for this year’s Formula 1 cars.
Despite the loss of technical director James Allison to Mercedes and after going through an underwhelming, winless 2016 season – at least by Ferrari standards – the team looks for a bounce back this year to coincide with the new regulations.
The renamed SF70H, which follows on last year’s SF16-H, was revealed online in a quick video without any buildup or dialogue from any of the key team stakeholders.
Noticeable on this car is the shark fin element, again with a winglet on the top of it.
The launch is the first of two today, with McLaren’s reveal of the MCL32 coming in a couple hours.
More to follow…
It seems to be the winter of all-stars from other racing disciplines testing in IndyCar.
Today Ricky Taylor joined the list of those stars from the closed-top sports car or touring car world on the winter IndyCar test list, with a one-off guest test for Team Penske in defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud’s No. 1 PPG Chevrolet.
The older of two Taylor brothers, who completed a star turn at this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona en route to delivering the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R an overall win with brother Jordan, Max Angelelli and Jeff Gordon, made his maiden laps at the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course.
Chevrolet and General Motors extended the test offer to Ricky Taylor for this opportunity. Fittingly for Pagenaud, it’s the second time in not even a year he’s given up his seat to another member of either the GM or Penske family; Brad Keselowski made a similar out-of-nowhere one-off test at Road America last year.
“Every driver dreams to be an Indy car driver,” Taylor said, via IndyCar.com. It can’t hurt to be involved with (Team Penske); there are no negatives to that. To get to know all the guys and get to drive the car and get an actual feel for it in a low-pressure environment is a great opportunity for me. Even if it doesn’t lead to anything, it’s a big learning opportunity.”
With Ricky Taylor completing this test and with Robert Wickens and Pipo Derani set to test next week at Sebring’s short course, there’s been a sudden series of additional interest in the final few runs before the IndyCar season opens on March 12.
And with Ricky Taylor in Homestead today, it was left to Jordan Taylor and the Konica Minolta team’s new third driver, Englishman Alex Lynn, to run solo today as part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship February test at Sebring’s full course. Lynn will make his U.S. race debut in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, to be held March 18. Ricky Taylor will be back at Sebring for the second day of the IMSA test, held Friday.
2016 GP3 Series runner-up Alexander Albon has announced that he will move into GP2 for 2017 with ART Grand Prix, completing the team’s line-up.
Albon, 20, finished second behind Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc in GP3 last year with ART, racking up four race wins through his rookie campaign.
The Thai youngster will now continue with ART in GP2, partnering McLaren youngster Nobuharu Matsushita through 2017.
“I am really excited to be working with ART Grand Prix for a second year. I learnt a huge amount last year and we have become one big close family,” Albon said.
“Moving up to the GP2 series is an important step in anyone’s career and I am extremely fortunate to be with a top team who already understand me.
“There’s a lot to learn coming from GP3, and the experience and method of working at ART Grand Prix is the reason they have won so many titles. I hope I will continue to proudly wear Thailand’s colours and those of my faithful Thai partners.
“I look forward to the new challenge and cannot wait for the season to begin!”
The new GP2 season will begin in Bahrain on April 15.
Sergey Sirotkin is poised to enjoy more Formula 1 practice opportunities through 2017 with Renault after the team confirmed he would continue in a reserve role.
Sirotkin, 21, joined Renault in 2016 as a test driver after previously working with Sauber and falling short in a bid to be on the grid for 2015.
The Russian enjoyed two practice run-outs through 2016 behind the wheel of the Renault R.S.16, but will enjoy an expanded program in the forthcoming campaign.
“For Sergey, stability is important and we are happy to continue the development program after a very good GP2 season,” Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul said.
“He will continue to focus on his development role as a reserve, and he will have more opportunities to run in the car on Friday.
“His attention to detail and his appetite to be at the factory, looking at the simulator, his focus and his mentality, we’re happy to maintain at the team.”
Sirotkin is yet to confirm his racing plans for 2017, having spent the past two seasons in GP2, but has his sights firmly set on an F1 race seat next year.
“I don’t think anyone would be surprised if I said that my main target for the 2018 season is to have a seat as a Formula 1 race driver and that’s what I’m working towards,” Sirotkin said.
“I’m here to learn and be an asset to the team as well as show that I am worthy of further opportunities.”