Two-day Firestone tire test to occur Tuesday, Wednesday at IMS

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Six drivers will test several compounds and specifications of Firestone’s IndyCar tire at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Tuesday and Wednesday, both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. All but one of them are out of realistic contention for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series title.

Simon Pagenaud, Justin Wilson and Dario Franchitti will be Honda’s representatives with the three Chevrolet reps Will Power, Marco Andretti and current Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan. Pagenaud is third in points, 70 back of Helio Castroneves with three races remaining in the season.

“It’s more a sense of continuous improvement, which is something that Firestone has been based on,” Firestone Racing chief engineer Dale Harrigle told IndyCar.com. “Tire performance was good this May and we think we can make it a little better.”

From an optics standpoint, it will be nice to see IndyCars going their usual, counter-clockwise direction around the IMS 2.5-mile oval, after last week’s test at the IMS road course to evaluate the potential of a race there next year.

And here’s the best part: it’s open to the public, at the South Terrace Grandstand and Turn 2 viewer mounds. Sept. 12 is a designated rain date. Post photos on Twitter (@FirestoneRacing) using #TireTest.

Fernando Alonso confirmed for Toyota LMP1 test in Bahrain

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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Fernando Alonso will take his first step towards a possible entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans when he tests an LMP1 car for Toyota on Sunday at the Bahrain International Circuit.

McLaren Formula 1 driver and two-time world champion Alonso is hoping to appear at Le Mans next year as part of his bid to become just the second man in history to complete the ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’.

Alonso has already completed one leg by winning the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and made his debut at the Indianapolis 500 in May with McLaren-Honda-Andretti, retiring late on due to an engine failure.

Momentum is building for Alonso to make his Le Mans debut with Toyota in 2018, starting with a first sports car run-out in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s end-of-season rookie test in Bahrain on Sunday.

Alonso arrived in Bahrain on Saturday to watch the six-hour WEC race as an invited guest of the Bahraini royal family, with his participation in the test being confirmed after the race.

“We are very excited that Fernando will test our car. When he visited us in Cologne everyone who met him could sense his enthusiasm and passion for our sport; he is a true racer,” Toyota Gazoo Racing team president Hisatake Murata said.

“We very much respect his interest in different forms of motorsport and it is a pleasure to offer him this chance to drive a hybrid LMP1 car. It will be interesting to hear his feedback on the TS050 Hybrid.”

Alonso will share running in the Toyota car with 19-year-old Thomas Laurent, who received a test as a prize for his star display during his rookie WEC campaign this year, while regular Toyota racer Mike Conway will also complete laps.