Report: Providence in talks for 2015 IndyCar Series event

2 Comments

After losing its Baltimore round, the IndyCar Series could be able to re-strengthen its Northeast presence by the 2015 season with a street race in Providence, Rhode Island.

Local radio station WPRO-AM reports that talks are ongoing between race organizers and city and state officials; a spokesman for Providence mayor Angel Taveras confirmed conversations between city officials and the series but stressed to WPRO that, at least currently, “there is no agreement in place to bring the event to Providence.”

Nonetheless, Mark Perrone, the general manager of the New England Grand Prix promotions group, is confident that Providence will soon have a place on the IndyCar calendar.

“The Northeast market is some place [IndyCar wants] to be, especially now,” Perrone told WPRO. “[Providence] will be the only presence from St. Petersburg [Fla.] to Toronto on the east coast.”

The series currently has one Northeast round with its event at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. It last raced specifically in New England back in 2011 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. That race proved to be a one-and-done affair after it failed to meet financial expectations.

A few years ago, Providence had been in the mix for a 2013 IndyCar date but while series officials had high praise for the bid, they felt Little Rhody’s capital city needed more time to get things squared away.

For his part, Perrone seems to agree with that previous decision.

“I think we were trying to rush a lot of things,” he told WPRO of Providence’s earlier efforts regarding an IndyCar event. “We were trying to put a round peg in a square hole.”

The plan for a Providence event involves an 11-turn, 2.1-mile street circuit with a finish line near the Rhode Island State House. A tentative date for the event has been set for Aug. 7-9, 2015.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.”