Photo: Andretti Autosport

Sato’s car turns black and white with Dickinson Fleet Services

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Takuma Sato’s expected final race as a member of the Andretti Autosport team will see his usual blue and white No. 26 Honda take on a welcome shade of black, yellow and white, owing to Dickinson Fleet Services moving into a primary sponsor role for Sunday’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (6:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Dickinson announced a multi-year extension with the team as its Official Service Provider and Fleet Management Company. The full release with more details is below.

Indianapolis-based fleet maintenance and repair company, Dickinson Fleet Services has solidified a multi-year renewal with Andretti Autosport and will continue to build on the established relationship throughout the upcoming INDYCAR seasons. To kick off this expanded relationship, the No. 26 Honda of reigning Indianapolis 500 Champion Takuma Sato will carry black and yellow for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Sonoma Raceway Sunday.

Joining Michael Andretti’s armada of racing teams in May of 2016, Dickinson Fleet Services became the Official Service Provider and Fleet Management Company of Andretti Autosport. Providing preventative maintenance and ensuring that the team transporters arrive at racetracks safely, the relationship with Dickinson Fleet Services has proved essential for the success across the entire organization.

“When we travel to IndyCar races, we travel with 10 tractor-trailers every weekend. The fleet maintenance of our transporters is just as essential as the maintenance of our race cars,” said Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti. “Dickinson Fleet Services has performed above and beyond and is a key part of keeping our team rolling. Not only are they professional and the best in the business when it comes to fleet maintenance, but they’re also just right down the road here in Indianapolis.”

“Andretti Autosport has the highest expectations for performance, safety and winning,” said Ted Coltrain, Executive Officer, Dickinson Fleet Services. “We pride ourselves on providing maintenance excellence and safety at every level of our service. The entire team at Dickinson Fleet Services is honored to be recognized by Andretti Autosport as a vital partner in their success both on and off the track. We look forward to being part of Andretti Autosport’s winning tradition for many years to come.”

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.