Report: Juan Pablo Montoya may do ‘double’ in 2015

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He never tried it during his seven-season stint in NASCAR, but now that he’s back full-time in IndyCar, Juan Pablo Montoya is thinking about doing the “double” next season.

Partly inspired by what Kurt Busch did in May, racing in the Indianapolis 500 and then later that night in NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600, Montoya is going to try and sell team owner Roger Penske on the idea for next year, according to MRN.com’s Dustin Long.

“If (Penske) wanted me to do it, then I probably would do it,” Montoya said, according to Long. “(Running both races in the same day) would be cool. But I don’t want to force (Penske) into anything.”

Although he’s full-time now on the Verizon IndyCar Series, the 2000 Indianapolis 500-winning Montoya has competed in two Sprint Cup races this season, finishing 18th at Michigan and 23rd last Sunday in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.

“The hard thing is … to be honest, we did one day of testing at Nashville,” Montoya said. “We went to Michigan and we struggled all weekend with the rear of the car. We struggled in qualifying being on the splitter. In the race we were the other way; we were so loose. We unloaded in Indy the same way – like sideways.”

Montoya, who finished fifth in this year’s Indy 500, is ready to embrace a full 1,100 miles in the same day.

Who knows, he may even share an airplane flight from Indy to Charlotte with Busch, who is reportedly considering doing the double once again in 2015.

“Physically I don’t think it would be that hard, to be honest with you,” Montoya said. “If you want to do it properly, it would be a lot of fun. … There are a lot of possibilities if you think about it.”

Thus far, only four drivers have tried the double. Busch was the most recent, preceded by John Andretti, Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon.

Of the four, Stewart is the only one to finish both races on the same day, having done so in 2001.

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PWC confirms 2018 season finale at Watkins Glen

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Pirelli World Challenge will end its 2018 season at Watkins Glen International, the series confirmed Friday.

The exciting finale will feature traditional 50-minute sprints for GT and GTS classes and 40-minute features for Touring Car classes.

The last PWC event at Watkins Glen was held in 2010 with sports car greats Ron Fellows (GT) and Peter Cunningham (GTS) winning the top two events and Robert Stout claiming the Touring Car race. The Pirelli World Challenge series premiered at Watkins Glen International in 1992 and has featured eight PWC years (1992, 1996-1998, 2007-2010) at the famed New York road racing facility.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Pirelli World Challenge competitors, officials, leadership, and fans to Watkins Glen International in 2018,” said Michael Printup, Watkins Glen International President. “This series features fantastic wheel-to-wheel racing across a wide spectrum of sportscar classes and our fans are in for a treat on Labor Day weekend next year.”

In addition to the Watkins Glen season finale, the Pirelli World Challenge also announced its race lineup for 2018 with the GT/GTA/GT Cup divisions again being split into five GT Sprint (50 minutes) and five GT SprintX (60 minutes, two drivers) races. The GTS events, featuring GT4 machinery, will remain nine-weekends with a total of 18 50-minute Sprint rounds while Touring Car divisions will contest 40-minute Sprints in the class’ 12-race, six-weekend campaign.

The GT Sprint championships will be contested in the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Long Beach, Calif., as well as at the permanent road circuits of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Road America and Watkins Glen. The GT SprintX championship will be campaigned at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), VIRginia International Raceway, Lime Rock Park, Portland International Raceway and Utah Motorsports Campus.

Details on the 2018 race regulations for GT Sprint and GT SprintX events will be announced in the near future, including the new pit stop requirements and other amendments to competition rules.

Featuring the GT3 and GT4 categories, the second annual SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours is set to return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Oct. 26-28.

2018 Pirelli World Challenge Schedule

Date, Track (Classes)

March 9-11, Streets of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Fla. (GT Sprint and GTS)
March 23-25, Circuit Of The Americas (COTA), Austin, Texas (GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car)
April 13-15, Streets of Long Beach Long Beach, Calif. (GT Sprint)
April 28-30, VIRginia International Raceway Alton, Va., (GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car)
May 18-20, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Bowmanville, Ont., CAN, (GT Sprint and GTS)
May 25-26 -28, Lime Rock Park Lakeville, Conn., (GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car)
June 22-24 Road America Elkhart Lake, Wis., (GT Sprint and GTS)
July 13-15, Portland International Raceway Portland, Ore., (GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car)
August 10-12, Utah Motorsports Campus Grantsville, Utah, (GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car)
Aug. 31-Sept. 1-2 Watkins Glen International Watkins Glen, N.Y., (GT Sprint, GTS and Touring Car)

Special Event

SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge, California 8 Hours
October 26-28, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Salinas, Calif.