IndyCar allowing teams to make brake cooling tweaks for Houston

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Considering the prospect of warm conditions for the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on Oct. 4-6, INDYCAR is allowing teams to make changes in order to create better brake cooling for their cars.

A bulletin sent out late last week says that the teams are now permitted to trim the end plate wicker on the front wing. Additionally, teams can modify both front and rear brake ducts, as well as brake duct backing plates.

These changes are designed to increase cooling to the caliper and rotor areas.

“Based on what we saw at Baltimore, where we saw the hottest temperatures of the year, and with hot temperatures expected again in Houston, we’ve decided to allow these changes to help teams improve cooling to the brakes,” INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker said in a statement from INDYCAR.

These tweaks will only be in effect for the Houston doubleheader, which will see the IZOD IndyCar Series stage 90-lap events on Sat., Oct. 5 and Sun., Oct. 6.

Both races can be seen live on NBCSN, with coverage starting at 3 p.m. ET on Oct. 5 and at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 6.

Hartley’s F1 grid penalty streak continues in Abu Dhabi

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Brendon Hartley’s record of receiving a grid penalty at every Formula 1 race he has started is set to continue in Abu Dhabi this weekend after Toro Rosso was forced to change part of his Renault power unit following the last race in Brazil.

Since making his F1 debut at the United States Grand Prix last month, Hartley has faced a grid drop at all three races he has started so far amid ongoing reliability difficulties for power unit supplier Renault.

After being forced to retire from the last race in Brazil two weeks ago due to an engine issue, Hartley has received a 10-place grid penalty for Abu Dhabi after it was confirmed Toro Rosso had changed the MGU-H on his power unit.

Hartley is yet to score any points in F1, having retired from two of his three races so far to make his debut run to P13 in Austin his best result to date.

The Toro Rosso driver finished 20th in FP1 and 19th in FP2 during Friday’s practice sessions in Abu Dhabi as he continued to get to grips with the Yas Marina Circuit.