Ominous skies over Astrodome (Tony DiZinno)

IndyCar Race 2 qualifying canceled due to rain; field set by entrant points (UPDATED)

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UPDATE, 11:47 a.m. ET: Minutes ago, INDYCAR announced a correction on its part regarding the grid for Race 2 of the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston.

According to Rule 8.1.10.1 B of the IZOD IndyCar Series rule book, in the event of a cancellation of qualifying, the starting field will be set by the entrant points going into the event – which, in Houston’s case, means the entire weekend, not individual races.

As a result, it will be Helio Castroneves – not Scott Dixon – that will start today’s 90-lap race on the pole in his No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet. Going into the Houston weekend (and, obviously, before Saturday’s Race 1), Castroneves’ No. 3 car led, 486-452, in entrants’ points over Dixon’s No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Here’s your new starting lineup for today’s event:

IZOD IndyCar Series – Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race 2
Official Starting Lineup

Row 1
3-Helio Castroneves

9-Scott Dixon

Row 2
77-Simon Pagenaud
25-Marco Andretti

Row 3
1-Ryan Hunter-Reay
19-Justin Wilson

Row 4
10-Dario Franchitti
27-James Hinchcliffe

Row 5
12-Will Power
83-Charlie Kimball

Row 6
11-Tony Kanaan
5-E.J. Viso

Row 7
7-Sebastien Bourdais
67-Josef Newgarden

Row 8
14-Takuma Sato
18-Mike Conway

Row 9
78-Simona de Silvestro
20-Ed Carpenter

Row 10
15-Graham Rahal
16-James Jakes

Row 11
4-Oriol Servia
55-Tristan Vautier (R)

Row 12
98-Luca Filippi
6-Sebastian Saavedra

ORIGINAL, 10:00 a.m. ET: After two days of unrelenting heat and humidity, now there’s been another monkey wrench thrown into this weekend’s Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar doubleheader: a 20-degree temperature drop and persistent rain.

The qualifying for the second race of the weekend and 18th of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season is on an indefinite hold due to the rain and track conditions not allowing the water to drain that well.

Pace cars have been sent out to survey the circuit. A USF2000 race and Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTS race are scheduled before the IndyCar TV window and race, beginning at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

We’ll update things as we hear further developments.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”