Kurt Busch lands at Charlotte, ready for another 600 miles

Leave a comment

Kurt Busch has arrived at Charlotte Motor Speedway and with plenty of time to go – roughly about 45 minutes before the green flag is scheduled to drop for the longest and most grueling race on the Sprint Cup calendar.

Busch helicoptered the roughly five miles from the nearby Concord Regional Airport, landing triumphantly in the CMS infield to a large round of applause from fans preparing to watch the race.

Busch finished a very respectable sixth in his first-ever Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day.

“I feel great, the adrenaline has kicked in here we are at the 600 and I almost have to forget that ran 500 miles earlier and just zone in with the two portions of today’s race, daytime and nighttime,” Busch told Fox Sports. “My first experience, I can’t ask for anything more.”

The elder Busch brother is now the first driver to race the so-called “Double” since Robby Gordon in 2004, and hopes to become the first driver to finish all 1,100 miles between Indy and Charlotte since Tony Stewart became the only driver to do so in 2001.

Busch was forced to start from 42nd position due to missing the driver’s meeting. He is now halfway towards attaining or breaking Stewart’s Double record of finishing sixth in the 500 and third in the 600 later that evening.

“I still have a job to do here tonight for my Haas Automation team,” Busch said. “The way all of this has come together and all of the support from the NASCAR garage and IndyCar paddock … and now here we are in Charlotte to finish off strong in 600 miles. … I’m loving it.”

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Alonso enjoys maiden Toyota LMP1 test, ends as second-fastest rookie

Adrenal Media
Leave a comment

Fernando Alonso took his first step towards a possible entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 by testing an LMP1 car for the first time with Toyota in Bahrain on Sunday.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso has made no secret of his desire to race at Le Mans, having signed a deal to race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January as preparation for a possible entry at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Toyota confirmed after Saturday’s FIA World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain that Alonso would be testing its TS050 Hybrid LMP1 car in the traditional rookie test on Sunday.

Alonso was given the car for the bulk of the five-hour test day following an initial shakedown by Sebastien Buemi, completing 113 laps in total – more than any other driver – and posting a best lap time of 1:43.013.

“It was a great day,” Alonso said. “Testing an LMP1 car is always a nice thing for any racing driver because these cars are amazing to drive. They are very consistent throughout a stint which is a positive thing.

“I have wanted to test a car like this for a long time now and today I could achieve that, so I am happy.”

However, Alonso did not finish as the fastest rookie, with that honor instead going to Pietro Fittipaldi, who was the final driver to drive the Porsche 919 Hybrid ahead of the closure of the German marque’s LMP1 program.

Alonso is now set to head back to Europe before a test in United Autosports’ LMP2 car on Tuesday as part of his Daytona preparation, before then returning to the Middle East for the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi next weekend.