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Tickets go on sale today for 101st Indy 500, 2017 month of May

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Yes, there will be a 101st Indianapolis 500 after this year’s banner 100th running of the Memorial Day open-wheel classic.

And tickets for that race, as well as the rest of the 2017 Month of May, go on sale today.

Here’s the release from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the deets:

Tickets for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil are on sale today, along with the entire 2017 Month of May schedule. Fans who have not already pre-ordered tickets can visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ticket office or IMS.com to purchase their seats for an action-packed schedule that also includes the IndyCar Grand Prix, Indy 500 practice and qualification days, concerts and so much more.

“Many fans jumped at the chance to renew their tickets after this year’s historic race, with reserved seat purchases already trending notably higher than several previous years,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles. “The 101st Running is going to be a spectacle worthy of the world’s largest single-day sporting event and we can’t wait to see an enthusiastic crowd celebrate more history and thrills at IMS. Our renewal demand was high, so if you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, now is the right time to get the view you want.”

IMS has long been a family-friendly facility, offering free General Admission to all racing events for children 12 and under when accompanied by a paid adult. Starting this year, IMS will extend this offer to kids up to 15 years old, and will also introduce new grandstand family packages for several 2017 events.

The Month of May’s first event, the IndyCar Grand Prix, is a great way to test-drive these exciting new opportunities while watching reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud defend his 2016 victory on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile IMS road course.

“The IndyCar Grand Prix is a really fantastic family event and a great way to introduce your kids to racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Boles said. “It offers an up-close-and-personal view of the drivers and one of my favorite Month of May moments: the chance to walk on the most famous racetrack in the world after the race.”

From there, the riveting countdown to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” moves forward with the first Indy 500 practice taking place on Monday, May 15. Indy 500 qualifications begin on Saturday, May 20, with Pole Day on Sunday, May 21. Miller Lite Carb Day and Legends Day presented by Firestone will again provide thrills for both music and racing fans on Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.

The epic 101st edition of the world’s most iconic race will take place on Sunday, May 28. Reigning champion Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport will return to defend his crown against both newcomers and previous winners for another hard-earned spot on the Borg-Warner Trophy.

“There’s no place like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Memorial Day Weekend,” said Rossi. “I can’t wait to come back this May and race in the 101st Running of the Indy 500. Everyone in our series dreams about winning this race and I know we’ll put on a great show for our fans.”

To see the IndyCar Grand Prix schedule, click here and to see the Indy 500 schedule, click here. To purchase 2017 Indy 500 tickets and more, click here.

Recap: Green Bay Packers QB Brett Hundley takes in Kohler Grand Prix

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When professional athletes decide to experience sports outside of the one where they make their living, it never ceases to entertain. Case and point: Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Hundley.

The 24-year-old Hundley spent the weekend at Road America, taking in the Kohler Grand Prix. His time at the facility began on Thursday, where he first paid a visit to Team Penske driver Will Power, who gave him a quick tutorial.

Will Power shows Brett Hundley a steering for a Verizon IndyCar Series machine. Photo: IndyCar

The next part of Hundley’s day saw him take a two-seater ride with none other than Mario Andretti. And, unsurprisingly, it left a big impression.

Mari Andretti takes Brett Hundley around Road America in the Verizon IndyCar Series two-seater. Photo: IndyCar

“The first lap, I’m screaming, and it’s the warm-up lap! And then the second lap: I’m just bright-eyed, going through corners. I give so much respect, that’s an awesome sport, man!” Hundley said in a media debrief afterward.

However, the day was not finished. Later on, Hundley showed off his arm strength and throwing accuracy by attempting to throw a football through the passenger side window of a moving Chevrolet Corvette. And while it took a few attempts, he eventually hit his mark.

Hundley stayed through Sunday and dawned a photographer’s bib in order to take in more of the action.

In fact, he even inadvertently photobombed second-place finisher Josef Newgarden during his post-race interview.

A video chronicling Hundley’s visit can be viewed here and additional photos from his weekend can be found on his Instagram page.

 

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Merhi confirmed for WEC return with Manor at the Nürburgring

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CEFC Manor TRS Racing has confirmed that Roberto Merhi will return to the FIA World Endurance Championship for next month’s 6 Hours of Nürburgring, replacing Jean-Eric Vergne.

Merhi previously raced for Manor in both Formula 1 and the WEC, making his most recent appearance with the British marque at last November’s 6 Hours of Bahrain.

Merhi’s last racing outing came in the Formula 2 double-header in Spain and has flirted with a move into Formula E, but was confirmed on Wednesday to be making his racing return at the Nürburgring on July 16.

Merhi will deputize for Vergne in the No. 24 Oreca 07 Gibson while the Frenchman is in New York for the city’s inaugural Formula E event.

FIA to re-examine Vettel/Hamilton Baku F1 clash

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The FIA has confirmed that it will re-examine the clash between Formula 1 title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix to see if further action is warranted.

Vettel and Hamilton made contact twice behind the safety car in Baku, with the second incident deemed to be an act of dangerous driving on Vettel’s part.

The FIA stewards in Baku handed Vettel a 10-second stop/go penalty for the clash – the harshest available penalty besides disqualification – but faced calls to issue a stricter punishment post race.

Hamilton said that the incident set a dangerous precedent for F1 and wider motorsport, but Vettel believed his rival deserved a penalty for allegedly brake testing him.

On Wednesday, the FIA confirmed that it would be re-examining the incident in a meeting on July 3, with a verdict set to be delivered ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

“Following the recent incident at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in which Car 5 (Sebastian Vettel) was involved in a collision with Car 44 (Lewis Hamilton), on Monday 3rd July, the FIA will further examine the causes on the incident in order to evaluate whether further action is necessary,” a short statement from the FIA read.

“A statement regarding the outcome of this process will be made available before the upcoming Austrian Grand Prix (7-9 July).”

Wickens not interested in full-time IndyCar switch despite practice run

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Robert Wickens is not interested in making a full-time switch to the Verizon IndyCar Series in the near future despite his practice run-out at Road America last weekend for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Mercedes DTM driver Wickens was called up for Friday practice at the KOHLER Grand Prix in the No. 7 Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda after Mikhail Aleshin was unable to make it in time due to immigration issues.

Aleshin was able to return to the United States in time for Saturday’s final practice and qualifying at Road America, with Wickens stepping back down.

The Canadian got his first taste of an Indy car in a car swap with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe in March, paving the way for his practice appearance at Road America.

However, Wickens is not looking to make a full-time move over to IndyCar anytime soon despite enjoying his run-out, with his focus lying with DTM.

“Not really, to be honest,” Wickens said when asked if IndyCar was something he would like to move into in Mercedes’ ‘Tales from the Paddock’ press newsletter.

“I just want to race cars. That’s the main thing. I have no urge to leave the DTM at the moment.

“Everything is going well, and I’m really happy with Mercedes.”

Wickens also went into detail about how rapidly things moved with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, having only been told the day before practice that he was required for the running.

“I planned on having a relaxing weekend at home, but on Thursday afternoon I got a call from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, which is the team that we did the ride swap with involving James Hinchcliffe back in April,” Wickens said.

“They asked if I could go to Road America and fill in for Mikhail Aleshin who had immigration issues. Fortunately, Toto [Wolff] was happy for me to do it and I was able to jump on a plane and get to Wisconsin.

“We didn’t get to the hotel until about 10pm on Thursday, and Free Practice 1 was on Friday morning very early. It took some getting used to.

“The practice itself was fun. The track was really good. It would be amazing to have a DTM race there one day.

“I definitely wanted to do the full weekend, but the full-time driver got his immigration stuff sorted and he made it to the race track by Friday night. My duties were finished, but it was still a really fun Friday.”