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Gateway confirms 2018 IndyCar date, earlier start time

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The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park is the latest race to have its 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series date confirmed, and like most others on the 2017 schedule, it will stay in the same date as this year.

The track confirmed Tuesday that it will run on August 25, 2018 as the second year of its multi-year agreement with INDYCAR, but the big change is that there will be an earlier start time.

What was an initial 8:45 p.m. CT race start time this year has been bumped up at least one hour. The track listed a 7 p.m. CT start time, but whether that’s the pre-race activity time or green flag time is to be determined and potentially weather contingent, per the track.

While not listing support series beyond IndyCar – both Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires races alongside IndyCar this year – Gateway did announce several changes for this year in response to customer feedback. Those are below:

  • A large display and exhibitions of vintage Indy cars in conjunction with the Vintage Indy Registry.
  • More pre-event and post-race live entertainment.
  • Expanded parking and more roadways entering and exiting the parking areas.
  • Expanded concession stands on the midway and in the infield.

Additionally, there’s incentives for ticket renewal and for new purchases. Per the track:

“Ticket renewals will start October 16. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on November 13. Renewal tickets can be secured with only a $10 down payment as part of our fan-friendly payment plan. Anyone purchasing tickets as a gift before December 15 will receive a special holiday card to present to their recipient. In addition, pre-holiday buyers will also receive a free Coors Light Pole Night ticket and a 2017 special event gift from Gateway Motorsports Park.

“Anyone purchasing INDYCAR tickets before August 11, 2018 will receive special advance pricing and a free Coors Light Pole Night ticket and will be registered for prize drawings that include exclusive event day experiences.”

Gateway’s confirmation adds another date to the 2018 IndyCar calendar. Announced dates are below:

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
  • August 25, Gateway
  • 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.