Malaysian GP going ahead in face of MH370 plane crisis

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The CEO of Sepang International Circuit has foreshadowed a more subdued Malaysian Grand Prix at the end of the month, as the nation continues to deal with the crisis surrounding missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

The Beijing-bound flight disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew aboard, and an international search for the plane’s whereabouts is ongoing.

As for the Grand Prix, Sepang CEO Razlan Razali has told Agence France-Presse that the country’s citizens “are not in the mood for an event like this.”

“Everywhere – be it on radio, newspaper, TV or social media – it is all about finding MH370,” Razali said about the situation.

However, Razali did confirm that the race, which is the second round of this year’s Formula One World Championship, will indeed go on.

Understandably, plans are to keep the MH370 saga in mind as the track goes about hosting the Grand Prix.

“Whatever it is, Formula One will go on and the concert after [the race] will proceed, but we will be sensitive and not go overboard,” he added to AFP.

The March 30 race will be the 16th time that F1 has visited Malaysia.

UPDATE 2: INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama once again under red-flag race stoppage

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UPDATE No. 2: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was closing in on restarting on Lap 23 or 24 before officials threw the second red flag race stoppage because of lingering puddles on the 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park, particularly on the front stretch. We’ll keep you updated as situations warrant.

UPDATE No. 1: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is under a red-flag race stoppage after 19 laps due to rain and puddling on the racing surface at Barber Motorsports Park.

Cleaners and dryers are on the track to try and get some of the water off the racing surface. The low spots on the track, as well as the front stretch, have been particularly troublesome and led to several spinouts and at least two wrecks (Charlie Kimball and outside front pole sitter Will Power).

Power’s day is done after suffering irreparable damage to the left side of his car after hydroplaning on the front straight and running into the inside retaining wall.

ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS:

Although rain has been falling for nearly an hour and the Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile permanent road course is drenched, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is underway on NBCSN.

The start of the race was moved up from 3:38 p.m. ET to take the green flag at 3:08 p.m. ET.

Josef Newgarden is the defending winner of this race and also will start from the pole for today’s race.

While the race is scheduled for 90 laps, there’s a possibility that if the weather worsens or if lightning appears, it could potentially be shortened to just two hours.

As can be expected, all cars are on rain tires to maximize grip.

Catch the race live on NBCSN.