IndyCar notes: Simona in Austin, Penske news coming soon

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A few quick IndyCar bits of info gleaned on the ground here in Austin:

  • If it wasn’t official already, Simona de Silvestro is a free agent on the IndyCar driver market. With upcoming tests scheduled for a handful of teams between now and December 19, don’t expect to see the 25-year-old Swiss driver at any of them as she and her management team decide the best course of action.
  • As she sorts out her IndyCar future, she spent some time at the track Thursday with the Sauber F1 Team, and had a photo op with team principal Monisha Kaltenborn and 60 aspiring young engineers, all girls, as part of an “F1 in Schools” promotion. She also met and chatted with team driver Nico Hulkenberg. I’m sure I’m not alone in the hope one day de Silvestro, who’s Swiss, could have a test with the Sauber team. She was thrilled to see the technology of an F1 car, having not been to a Grand Prix in several years.
  • A source told me on Thursday that Penske Racing is due for a primary sponsorship announcement in the coming days, after Nov. 18. The team’s new third driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, will make his final NASCAR start for Chip Ganassi Racing this Sunday in Homestead.

Defending winner Takuma Sato to grace front of 2018 Indy 500 tickets

Photos: IMS/Chris Owens
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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has unveiled what the ticket for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 will look like.

The ticket features blue and red foil stamped with a sculptural embossing of last year’s 500 winner, Takuma Sato, in victory lane, holding the ceremonial winner’s bottle of milk. Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the Greatest Spectacle In Racing, driving for Andretti Autosport.

The ticket was revealed Thursday during a ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse that featured Sato, now with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, as well as Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Hulman & Company President and CEO Mark Miles, IMS President J. Douglas Boles and Hulman Motorsports Senior Vice President of Events Allison Melangton.

The Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil will be held Sunday, May 27 at IMS.

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