IndyCar: Martin Plowman to kick off GP of Indy week with charity go-kart race

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Martin Plowman will make his return to the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend in the No. 41 Alfe Heat Treating Honda for A.J. Foyt Racing at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. But first, he’ll be kicking off the weekend on Wednesday with a charity event for a good cause.

Plowman, who has worked with the Snowball Express charity for children of fallen military heroes for several years (since 2011), and fiancee Nicole Pollard have organized a charity go-kart race at Fastimes Indoor Karting on Wednesday night. All proceeds from the event go to Snowball Express.

It’s a two-and-a-half hour endurance kart race with nine teams. A mix of athletes from the NFL and IndyCar will be in attendance. Those NFL players coming from the Indianapolis Colts include Pat McAfee, Dwayne Allen, Matt Overton, Anthony Heygood and Ryan Baker.

Meanwhile the IndyCar contingent in attendance include rookie Jack Hawksworth, Indy Lights driver and the very similarly named Jack Harvey, and Indy Lights veteran and current off-road truck racer Arie Luyendyk Jr.

Plowman, who won the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 Driver’s Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans driving for OAK Racing, makes his first IndyCar start since 2011 this weekend. He’ll also compete in the No. 41 ABC Supply Co. Honda for the Indianapolis 500. He competed in three IndyCar races (Mid-Ohio, Sonoma, Baltimore) in 2011.

More information is available here, via Plowman’s official website.

F1 2017 driver review: Sergio Perez

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Sergio Perez

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 11
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P4 (Spain)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 100
Championship Position: 7th

While failing to hit the podium as he did in both 2015 and 2016, Sergio Perez once again finished the year as Formula 1’s leading midfield team driver, but faced a greater fight from within Force India in the shape of Esteban Ocon.

Perez has long been knocking on the door of F1’s top teams should an opportunity come up, and 2017 saw him continue his solid if unspectacular form. The dominance of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari meant any finish higher than seventh was impressive, something he managed to do on five occasions.

But there were some missed opportunities along the way, most significantly in Baku. Force India had been quick all weekend, with Perez charging to sixth on the grid, and when drama struck at the front, he and teammate Ocon were eyeing a podium finish as a minimum.

Contact between the two forced Perez to retire and prompted Ocon to pit for repairs, leaving the team without the top-three finish it targeted heading into the season. With Lance Stroll taking P3 for Williams and Daniel Ricciardo winning the race, a maiden victory for Force India was not out of the realm of imagination.

Perez and Ocon came to blows on a number of occasions, with the final straw coming in Spa when they twice touched on-track, prompting Force India to introduce team orders. Perez finished the year 13 points clear of Ocon in the final standings, meeting his own pre-season target of 100 points, yet the Frenchman had arguably made the bigger impression at Force India through his first full season in F1.

Force India remains the top underdog in F1 with Perez spearheading its charge, but it is difficult to see either taking the final step to becoming true contenders at the front of the field anytime soon, as solid as their displays have been.

Season High: P4 in Spain after retirements for the ‘big three’.

Season Low: Losing a sure-fire podium, if not a win, in Baku after contact with Ocon.