Indian GP tire change to produce “closer racing” – Pirelli

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Pirelli say their change in tire philosophy for the Indian Grand Prix will produce better racing at a track which has seen two processional grands prix so far.

F1’s official tire supplier has brought the soft and hard compounds to the two previous races at the Buddh International Circuit. But this year it has chosen the soft and medium compounds.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery believes this will “the best combination for the Buddh circuit and lead to closer racing”.

“For the last two years running we’ve actually gone for the hard and soft compounds, which might have been slightly on the conservative side, so this year we’ve gone for a softer and slightly more aggressive choice.”

Hembery believes the softer rubber will be more taxing for the drivers: “We only had one pit stop per car in India last year, but this year we would expect two – which also provides the drivers and teams with more opportunities to make up places.”

“With varying elevations and a wide variety of corners India provides the tires with quite a test, as there are forces coming from all directions, so tire management will once again prove to be important.”

“As usual, it should be very warm in India, which increases thermal degradation as well,” he added.

Kanaan, Dixon to rejoin Chip Ganassi Le Mans effort

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Both Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan will be rejoining Ford Chip Ganassi Racing as part of their four-car armada at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team revealed late last week. Both drivers contested the event last year, with Dixon in the No. 69 entry – finishing seventh in the GTE Pro class – while Kanaan replaced an injured Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68 – finishing sixth in GTE Pro.

For Kanaan, this also represents a return to the Chip Ganassi organization, with which he contested the Verizon IndyCar Series from 2014 to 2017 before departing for A.J. Foyt Racing in 2018.

Kanaan will join Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell in the No. 67, while Dixon will reunite with Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook, the three drivers having won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, in the No. 69.

Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla, and Billy Johnson will share the No. 66 entry, with Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68.

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