Newgarden and Dismore Jr. (IndyCar photo)

Newgarden joins 2013 winner list in RoboPong kart race

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One of IndyCar’s emerging young talents, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing sophomore Josef Newgarden, captured the win in Sunday’s RoboPong 200 three hour and 45-minute endurance go-kart race. The event was held at New Castle (Ind.) Motorsports Park, where on Saturday, the Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am race occurred.

Newgarden co-drove with Mark Dismore Jr., son of the former IndyCar driver Mark Sr., for his second win in three years in the event. Dismore’s win is his third.

Six other drivers who made starts in IndyCar this year (Will Power, Simona de Silvestro, Ed Carpenter, Stefan Wilson, Conor Daly, James Davison) competed in the 43-kart field. Firestone Indy Lights champion Sage Karam captured the pole.

Offseason track time is sparse for the IndyCar field for the rest of this calendar year before testing ramps up for the 2014 season.

Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen fastest in rainy final practice at Australian GP

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen went one-two in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at the water-logged Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vettel set a best-lap time of 1 minute, 26.067 seconds, more than 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate in second.

Both Ferrari drivers switched from their intermediate tires to the super-fast, ultra-soft tires for the final few laps of the session, testing conditions on the track after a day-long downpour left it slick and filled with small puddles.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton did not opt to try out their soft tires, sticking to the intermediates for the entire session. They had the seventh- and eighth-fastest times, after topping the leaderboard in practice in dry conditions on Friday.

The heavy rains subsided by early afternoon, allowing the track to rapidly dry during the third practice session and making conditions safe for drivers to test their soft tires.

Still, only a few drivers completed a timed lap with the softer compounds, with Mercedes, Red Bull and most of the others staying with their intermediates.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had the third-fastest time of the session on ultrasoft tires, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on intermediates.

Hamilton remains the favorite to capture his fifth straight pole position at the Australian Grand Prix in qualifying later Saturday. He had the fastest laps on ultrasoft tires in the two practice sessions on Friday, though Verstappen was right behind him.

Verstappen and Vettel both slid on the slick track early in the third practice session, but maintained control and completed their runs without incident.

Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, had the sixth-fastest time of the session. The Australian’s chances of winning his fifth career Grand Prix on his home track in Melbourne took a hit late Friday when he was assessed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Australian driver was penalized for driving too fast under red-flag conditions during Friday’s second practice session because of debris on the track.