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Karam reunites with Dreyer and Reinbold for Indy 500 effort

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Sage Karam and Dreyer and Reinbold Racing will reunite this coming May to contest the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. It represents the fourth time in five years that they have teamed up to enter the “500,” and May’s 102nd running will be Karam’s fifth entry in total – he raced in 2015 with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Karam will pilot the No. 24 entry for Dreyer and Reinbold, with WIX Filters joining the program as a primary sponsor.

“We’re really excited to be back, and we’re really excited to have Sage with us and to have WIX as a technical partner,” said team co-owner Dennis Reinbold in a teleconference on Thursday. “Obviously we’re very excited about that. You know, they first came on board with us in 2011 with Paul Tracy and have been with us in different forms of racing over the years and are just a fabulous sponsor to have involved, a technical partner to have involved and be a part of our program.”

Karam echoed Reinbold’s enthusiasm, highlighting the Indy 500 as a race any driver desires to compete in.

“It’s my fourth time with the team, my fifth consecutive Indy 500. You know, being 22 and saying that it’s my fifth consecutive makes me really, really proud and happy to have people in my corner like WIX and Dennis and the whole Dreyer and Reinbold team,” said Karam. “You know, I’m just really excited to get back to the speedway. Every time you go there, it’s always great vibes and always a great month. I think any race car driver looks forward to the month of May, and that’s exactly the case with me.”

Karam also asserted that Dreyer and Reinbold, despite being a one-off entrant, is plenty capable of challenging for a victory.

“I really do think we can do well. I’ve come in – this will be my fourth time with the team. I’ve done it three times already as a single-car effort, and we’ve run up front, we’ve run with Penske, we’ve run with Ganassi, we’ve run alongside the Andrettis,” he added. “For a one-car effort with no teammates and everything, that’s been huge for us. It shows a lot of what car Dennis Reinbold puts together and team. They put a car together that can compete with the very best, and I’m just truly thankful that they’ve put me to the car to pilot it.”

Reinbold also confirmed that Karam will have a teammate this year, and that details on the team’s second car will be revealed in the coming weeks.

“In terms of a second car, we will be announcing something in a couple weeks that we will have a second car, so that is happening,” Reinbold detailed. “I’m excited about that, and Sage very subtly referred to not having a teammate before. Well, he’s going to have a good teammate, and we’re excited about that.”

Karam’s best Indy 500 finish is ninth, with Dreyer and Reinbold, back in 2014.


Mercedes: F1 teams need to work together to avoid split

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said Friday that Formula One teams have a responsibility to try to overcome their differences over the future of the sport in the face of a threat by Ferrari to quit because of a number of proposed changes.

Bernie Ecclestone, who ran F1 for 40 years before being replaced by new owners Liberty Media last year, has raised the possibility that Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne could walk away from F1 and form a breakaway series over Liberty’s future vision for the sport.

Ferrari is unhappy with Liberty’s proposal to simplify engines and redistribute prize money among F1 teams after the current contract with teams expires at the end of 2020.

Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene would not comment on the specifics of Marchionne’s previous comments at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Friday, but said: “My only suggestion, please take him seriously.”

Wolff is also taking the possibility of Ferrari walking away seriously. He told Britain’s Press Association before the Australian GP that he agreed with Marchionne’s concerns and that Formula One can’t afford to alienate Ferrari or lose the team.

“Don’t mess with Sergio Marchionne,” he said. “Formula One needs Ferrari much more than Ferrari needs Formula One.”

Wolff was more diplomatic on Friday, saying he hopes all sides could come together for the good of the sport.

“I think this as much a battle on track as much as it is a fight off track for an advantage,” he said. “It is clear the current governance and how the rules are being made is not very functional. There’s too much different opinions and agendas on the table and we need to sort it for 2021 for the best interest of the sport.”

Red Bull boss Christian Horner agreed there are too many competing agendas, suggesting that the FIA-Formula One’s governing body-and Liberty Media come together to decide on a set of regulations and financial framework for the next contract and the teams can then decide if they want to accept it or not.

“Trying to get a consensus between teams that have varying objectives, different set-ups, is going to be impossible,” he said. “It’s history repeating itself. It happens every five or six years, every time the Concorde Agreement comes up for renewal.”

Tempers also flared during Friday’s media conference over another issue of contention between the teams – Ferrari’s recent hiring of FIA’s ex-safety director, Laurent Mekies.

Horner believes Ferrari broke an agreement among teams at a recent meeting to institute a 12-month waiting period for any former employee of FIA or FOM (Formula One Management) to be able to start working for one of F1’s teams. The concern is that former FIA staff who go to work for a specific team could share secrets from other teams.

“Certain teams were pushing for that period to be three years, but in the end it was agreed upon being 12 months,” he said. “It almost makes those meetings pointless if we can’t agree on something and action it.”

Arrivabene defended Ferrari’s move, saying Mekies would not join its team until after a six-month “gardening leave” period.

“There is nothing wrong with that because we were absolutely respecting the local law, the Swiss local law where Laurent was hired,” he said.