Cooler heads prevail as IndyCar drivers test at Texas (VIDEO)

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A few days after tempers flared among some of the Verizon IndyCar Series competitors in Long Beach, 18 car/driver combinations took part in a test session this afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway.

Sunday’s race featured multiple incidents that caused a noticeable amount of anger. But if there’s any place on the IndyCar circuit that isn’t conducive to acts of revenge, it’s the high-banked and hyper-fast 1.5-mile oval in Fort Worth.

Tony Kanaan was one of several affected by Sunday’s multi-car crash on Lap 54, which began when Ryan Hunter-Reay made contact with Josef Newgarden while trying to take the lead from him in Turn 4.

Kanaan was one of several cars that crashed when they made their way into that particular corner. But while the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion figures that some payback among the drivers may eventually come, he also said that “mistakes happen.”

“As far as a driver, in my opinion, you have the right to be mad,” he said according to the Associated Press. “But you have to think about it: It could be you as well. You’re not perfect. You can also make a mistake.”

Kanaan and the other drivers turned laps today to help the INDYCAR sanctioning body figure out aerodynamic options for when the series comes back to TMS in June for the Firestone 600.

According to the series, four possible aero packages were evaluated, but winds of more than 20 miles per hour made for a tough day inside the cockpit.

“With the weather conditions being cool and a lot of wind, it makes things a little more difficult when we come back here,” said defending series champion Scott Dixon in a release.

“You kind of have to go through the big stuff to try and figure out what you may need or tools that you can use when you come back. Typically on a day like this, we would be doing big sweeps to try and figure out what we may need or don’t need. It’s definitely made it challenging.”

Marco Andretti and Ed Carpenter – whose team won last weekend at Long Beach with their road course driver, Mike Conway – will stick around for a second day of testing tomorrow.

Andretti says that the goal is to produce “just a little change” in the aero package that can get them away from the spread-out, single-file racing that ensued in last year’s race at TMS.

“We need that balance to where it’s just before pack racing, where we aren’t doing 190s [miles per hour] at the end of a stint,” he said. “We don’t want that either.

“Somewhere inbetween is a happy medium and that is what we are going for.”

For video and driver reactions from today’s session, check out the video above from TMS.

SMP Racing unveils BR1 LMP1 car in Bahrain ahead of WEC entry

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SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.

SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.

Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.

The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.

SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.

Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.