MRTI: Indy Lights, Pro Mazda title battles head to penultimate weekend

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While the Verizon IndyCar Series title battle will get most of the attention this weekend, the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires championships are also at a crucial point this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile.

Both series have had a number of doubleheader race weekends this year, but there’s only one race for both series in Milwaukee. Pro Mazda’s 100-lapper runs Saturday night with Indy Lights’ 100-lapper Sunday morning. Here’s the quick title battle synopsis:

INDY LIGHTS (Entry List)

On paper, this represents Zach Veach’s best shot to claw back the 24-point gap to points leader Gabby Chaves (431-407). Veach nearly won this race a year ago, but burned off his tires too quick and fell into Sage Karam’s clutches. Veach won twice earlier this year and as he’s solid on ovals, this is where he can capitalize.

Chaves, so long as he keeps Veach within three to four spots ahead, will be able to sustain the points lead. The only way he won’t is if he finishes seventh or eighth in the admittedly small eight-car field.

The wild card is Jack Harvey, who’s new to the circuit and has suddenly played himself into title contention following a Mid-Ohio doubleheader weekend sweep. Harvey sits second in points, 18 behind Chaves (431-418). He may not take the points lead away this weekend but if he limits the damage to his two title rivals, he’ll still be in with a shot at Sonoma next weekend.

Those playing spoilers? Basically the rest of the field, with Matthew Brabham, the Pro Mazda winner here last year, most likely to hassle the title contenders. Although listed, Zack Meyer’s Team Moore Racing entry is not here this weekend.

PRO MAZDA (Entry List

The two-horse race that is the battle between Spencer Pigot and Scott Hargrove continues at Milwaukee. Pigot should have the edge heading into the weekend and it remains to be seen if Hargrove can continue his second-half surge. Pigot leads Hargrove by 14 (259-245) entering the weekend.

Their respective teammates, Kyle Kaiser (Pigot’s) and Neil Alberico (Hargrove’s) as well as the Andretti Autosport pair of Garett Grist and Shelby Blackstock have the opportunity to play spoiler.

Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.