Marco Andretti drops a 232.2 in Indy 500 pre-qualifying practice

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Yes, there were other cars on track and yes, the boost levels of the powerplants have increased from 130 kPA to 140 kPA for this weekend’s Indianapolis 500 practice and qualifying.

Doesn’t mean a 232.239 mph lap, as set by Marco Andretti Saturday morning, isn’t still cool. Even though he had a monster tow.

With speeds usually “only” in the 228-229 range, and with the first 230-mph lap of the month turned in by Ed Carpenter on Friday, speeds grew as the temperatures cooled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Andretti was one of 12 drivers over 230 this morning. In fourth, Kurt Busch turned in his fastest lap in an IndyCar of 230.894 mph.

Single-car runs were still reported to be in the 229s, making a 230 in qualifying this afternoon possible, but not probable at this point. As always, temperatures and wind direction have a lot to do with overall speeds.

See the Qualifying Format and Qualifying Draw Here.

Morning Speeds are below.

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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.