On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR AMERICA and in preparation for this week’s Brickyard 400, Leigh Diffey talked with 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr. on what it was like to win the third closest finish in race history. Hornish also discussed some of the keys that drivers will need to succeed at the Brickyard 400.
Tony Kanaan and wife Lauren have welcomed a new baby into the world, with “TK” announcing the birth of son Max on Thursday.
Max joins other sons Deco and Leo in the Kanaan family. Kanaan reported both mom and baby are doing well.
This is the latest new arrival to the Verizon IndyCar Series, with Ryan Hunter-Reay and wife Beccy welcoming their third son Rhodes (after Ryden and Roczen) in September, and with Will Power and wife Liz expecting their first child in December.
Kanaan has re-signed with Chip Ganassi Racing and will drive the team’s No. 10 NTT Data Honda once more in 2017.
Strakka Racing will take no further part in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season due to engine issues.
Strakka has raced in the LMP2 class throughout 2016 with a Nissan-powered Gibson car, recording a best finish of fourth at Le Mans, the Nürburgring and in Mexico.
However, ongoing engine issues, – the most recent occurring in Fuji two weeks ago – difficulties getting a new engine into China for the upcoming 6 Hours of Shanghai and the severity of a possible penalty in Bahrain have prompted the British team to end its season early.
“The engine problem experienced in Japan, related to crankshaft pressure build up, is the fourth the team has encountered since the Bahrain rookie test last November and left the team with no spare units for the final round,” a statement from Strakka reads.
“With customs regulations making it near impossible to ship another engine to China and, having already exhausted its allocation of engines for 2016 with a pre-season issue and a further retirement at Spa, the team would have to take a three-minute stop and go penalty in Bahrain, effectively preventing any chance to be competitive.”
“It’s very sad that we have not been able to complete the championship due to issues beyond our control,” team principal Dan Walmsley added.
“I’d like to thank the WEC organizers, the logistics team and the engineers at Gibson for their efforts to try to get us back out on track but it just wasn’t feasible to get an engine to China and taking the penalty in Bahrain would have seen us nowhere near the rest of the P2 runners.
“We did consider all options, including trying to borrow a unit from another team but the specific fitting kit for the Gibson and the fact we’d still have to take a penalty meant we had to take the tough decision not to race.
“We’d like to apologize to our sponsors, fans and supporters not to be out racing but we will soon be announcing, before the end of November, our plans for 2017.”
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has officially confirmed the dates for Formula 1’s pre-season tests in 2017.
Pre-season testing has traditionally been held in Barcelona, but a number of teams were pushing to move it to Bahrain ahead of the 2017 season.
However, after teams failed to achieve unanimity, the decision was taken to keep testing in Barcelona ahead of the 2017 season.
While the dates for pre-season testing were widely reported and known, the track has now officially confirmed when it will host running.
The first four-day test will begin on February 27 and run to March 2, before a four-day break.
The second four-day test will begin on March 7 and finish on March 10.
Testing in Barcelona will provide a first glimpse of the revised F1 cars on-track together in 2017, with the technical regulations being overhauled for the new season.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will also play host to the Spanish Grand Prix from May 12-14 2017.
2017 FORMULA 1 TESTING CALENDAR
1. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – February 27 – March 2
2. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – March 7-10
1. Bahrain International Circuit – April 18-19
2. Silverstone – July 11-12
Renault Formula 1 chief Frederic Vasseur says he expected better from drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer in last weekend’s United States Grand Prix as both finished outside of the top 10.
Since returning to F1 as a constructor at the beginning of 2016, Renault has struggled for form, finishing in the points on just three occasions.
Magnussen recorded the team’s best result of the season so far in May’s Russian Grand Prix, crossing the line seventh, but did not return to the top 10 until the Singapore Grand Prix in September.
Palmer has just one top-10 to his name through his rookie F1 season, finishing P10 in Malaysia.
With a handful of drivers further up the field retiring in Austin last weekend, points were within reach for Magnussen and Palmer.
Magnussen could only finish 11th at the flag, but was demoted to 12th after being penalized for passing Daniil Kvyat off-track. Palmer finished 13th.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, Renault F1 boss Vasseur admitted he felt disappointed by the team’s display in Austin.
“We showed a decent performance but my expectations are high and I know better was possible,” Vasseur said.
“There were areas where we had issues and neither driver drove a perfect race.
“I really want to see us collectively maximizing every opportunity in every regard for the next three races.
“Next year we clearly should have a more competitive car. This year is about getting to a place where we are confident to maximize our potential.”
Both Magnussen and Palmer are currently fighting for their future, with Renault already confirming the arrival of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg for 2017.
Manor driver Esteban Ocon has been strongly linked with the second seat, meaning that both Magnussen and Palmer may be without a drive for 2017 should Renault decide on a total change of its line-up.