IndyCar: GP of Indy picks up Angie’s List as title sponsor

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Last month’s inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis may have messed with our heads (it was strange seeing the IndyCars going the wrong way down the Indianapolis Motor Speedway front stretch at first) and it was far from a tidy affair (see the nasty start-line crash involving pole-sitter Sebastian Saavedra and others).

But it did feature lots of on-track action, a compelling finish, and most importantly for both IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a healthy crowd to take it all in.

And now, it has a title sponsor.

Local service review website Angie’s List has signed up to back the GP of Indy for the next two seasons.

The second running of the newly christened “Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis” will take place on May 9, 2015.

“The inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis was a great success and provided an ideal way to begin the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles said in a statement.

“The event exceeded our attendance expectations and drivers and fans alike seemed to really enjoy the challenge that the road course here at IMS provided. We’ve created significant momentum moving forward and with the help of our new partner Angie’s List, 2015 should be even more exciting.”

Along with the sponsorship, Indianapolis-based Angie’s List will use the Grand Prix to host 5,000 of the country’s top service providers in a special “Festival of Service” to reward them for their hard work.

“There’s no better place in the world to be than Indianapolis in the Month of May,” company founder Angie Hicks said in her thoughts. “Angie’s List has long sponsored race cars in the Indianapolis 500, but getting involved with the Grand Prix brings a new kind of excitement.

“This is a world-class race, and we’ll bring in world-class service companies, not just to reward them, but to work hand-in-hand to change the way local service is delivered. Our ‘Festival of Service’ will celebrate companies that are working alongside us on this mission.”

In addition to those aforementioned ‘500’ sponsorships, Angie’s List was spotted in multiple other IndyCar races last season as a backer for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and then-driver Tristan Vautier (see below).

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Photo: Getty Images

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.