IndyCar, Barber Motorsports Park

Zach Veach wins Race 1 of Indy Lights weekend at Barber

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Starting from the pole position, Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach led all 30 laps in today’s Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires event at Barber Motorsports Park and won by a margin of 3.8 seconds over GP2 veteran Luiz Razia of Brazil.

Gabby Chaves, who won the most recent Lights race two weeks ago at Long Beach, started alongside Veach on the front row but instead made contact with Belardi Auto Racing teammate Alex Baron in Turn 1 and sent the latter off track.

Both cars kept going after the incident but Chaves was never the same as he ultimately slipped to a sixth-place finish. Meanwhile, Baron shook off his first-lap run-in and charged all the way to fifth at the checkered flag.

Meanwhile up front, Veach was able to slowly build a gap over Razia that proved too large to overcome as the American claimed his second Lights win after taking the season opener in St. Petersburg.

“We were very happy to use our pole to an advantage, as we didn’t get that opportunity in Long Beach,” Veach said to the IMS Radio Network. “But it was a great car to drive.

“I really didn’t know what was going on [in Turn 1]. I saw a lot of things moving around in my mirrors and I just kind of prayed that I didn’t get swept up into it. But this car was easy to drive, it was really consistent, and I’m excited to [run another race] tomorrow.”

As for Razia, he was able to secure his first Lights podium after finishing fifth in the season’s first two events. Following Long Beach, he taped pictures of that race’s group of podium finishers – Chaves, Veach, and Andretti’s Matthew Brabham – on a mirror for motivation.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports was able to get two of their men on the podium, with Razia’s runner-up and Jack Harvey’s third-place finish (he was five seconds off of Veach’s pace). Brabham was fourth, 9.5 seconds behind Veach.

Veach now holds a 26-point lead in the Lights championship over Chaves going into tomorrow’s second race at Barber. That race will start at 1 p.m. ET and will be shown on NBCSN at 5:30 p.m. ET following coverage of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama for the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.

And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.

Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home ofΒ Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.

The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.

“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.

“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”

A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.