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Iowa confirms IndyCar on same July weekend in 2018

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As it has been in both 2016 and 2017, the Iowa Speedway date for the Verizon IndyCar Series has been confirmed on the same weekend in mid-July – thus adding another date to the 2018 IndyCar calendar before the series releases the schedule in full. Iowa Speedway released its 2018 calendar today.

IndyCar’s Iowa Corn 300 will run Sunday afternoon, July 8, with the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race earlier in the day.

Start times were not released by the track and are usually released by IndyCar either in its full schedule release, or as part of a separate TV schedule release.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series runs Saturday night, July 7, with its 400-mile race from Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR usually runs this race on network NBC. The last two years, Kentucky Speedway has hosted the NASCAR races on Iowa’s IndyCar weekend.

That keeps IndyCar in the Sunday afternoon slot for a third consecutive year, rather than being a Saturday night race as it was in 2014 and 2015.

Noteworthy here is that the two other Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires series – Pro Mazda and USF2000 – aren’t listed by the track, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be added later. Pro Mazda scrapped a 2016 race at Iowa owing to expected lower car count while USF2000 ran its only oval race of 2017 at Iowa.

Although INDYCAR is yet to release its full schedule, many of its dates have been posted by the tracks themselves.

The lone holdup to the schedule appears to be a planned additional race in Mexico City, which INDYCAR hopes to finalize in the next couple weeks, and wants to slot in in the two-week gap between Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at the end of July and Pocono Raceway the third weekend in August.

The dates that haven’t been revealed as yet – Green Savoree Racing Promotions’ remaining two races in Toronto and Mid-Ohio, plus the Pocono, Gateway and Watkins Glen races – are expected to keep their same dates as in 2017. Pocono and Gateway were pleasant surprises from an attendance standpoint while Watkins Glen’s was disappointing by most measures.

Announced 2018 IndyCar dates so far:

  • March 11, St. Petersburg
  • April 7, Phoenix
  • April 15, Long Beach
  • April 22, Barber
  • May 12, INDYCAR Grand Prix
  • May 27, Indianapolis 500
  • June 2-3, Detroit doubleheader
  • June 9, Texas
  • June 24, Road America
  • July 8, Iowa
  • Sept. 16, Sonoma

Pirelli reveals new super-hard, hyper-soft F1 tires in Abu Dhabi

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Pirelli has confirmed it will add two new tires to its range for the 2018 Formula 1 season, launching the ‘super-hard’ and ‘hyper-soft’ compounds in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Pirelli currently makes three of its five dry compounds available to teams for each race weekend, and despite varying selections across the course of the season has struggled to offer much in terms of strategy options, with one-stop races being the norm.

The hope is that the addition of two new tire compounds and a re-alignment of their durability will offer teams more choices in races.

Pirelli confirmed plans to introduce a new softest tire below the current ultra-soft earlier this month, inviting fans to pick a name.

The pink-colored compound will be known as the ‘hyper-soft’ from next year, with the arrival of a new ‘super-hard’ (colored ‘ice blue’) also being confirmed at a launch event in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“Compared to this year, when the tires grew by 25% to fit a brand-new generation of cars, the changes for next year are less far-reaching,” Pirelli head of car racing Mario Isola said.

“However, we’re pleased to present some important innovations with softer and faster compounds across the range: including the new hypersoft.

“We realized that, under the unique circumstances of this year, some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative: the tires we have created for 2018 addresses this, in line with the objective of having around two pit stops at most races.

“However, the fundamental design concept of the tires hasn’t changed next year, preserving the attributes that all drivers have appreciated this year and allowing them to push hard from the start to the finish of each stint.

“The new range consists of faster tires that should lead to even harder and more spectacular racing in 2018.”

Besides the seven dry compounds made available, there will be the two rain tires – wet and intermediate – taking it to a total of nine for the 2018 season.