Webber hopes to break Melbourne curse

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The 2013 Australian Grand Prix will be Mark Webber’s twelfth visit to his home race, but the Red Bull driver is yet to meet considerable success in Melbourne. On debut in 2002, he scored an unlikely fifth place with backmarkers Minardi; a result Webber failed to better until last year’s race (P4). In 2013, Webber hopes to stand on the podium in front of his home fans for the first time.

“I’ve been on the podiums at most tracks around the world and have won at quite a few circuits and Melbourne is one which I would like to add to that.

“I really enjoy driving at the track, the atmosphere is fantastic. In general the people of Australia love the Grand Prix and are excited to have a world class event there.”

Webber also spoke of his pride for his home event.

“I’m proud when we go there with F1 as an industry and that we put on such a great event. Of course I want to go there and perform well, so I’ll be focusing on myself to get the job done. The champagne will taste a little bit better in Melbourne if I get on the podium there.”

At 36, Webber is the oldest driver on the grid, and with just one year remaining on his Red Bull contract, 2013 could be a make-or-break season. He is yet to prove that he can match and beat illustrious teammate Sebastian Vettel, but if there ever was a time to do so, Webber’s home race would be the perfect backdrop.

IndyCar race weekend doubleheader schedule at IMS road course

IndyCar weekend schedule Indianapolis
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The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.

The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.

The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.

ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend

The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.

A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.

Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:

(All times are Eastern)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1

Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2

10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3

10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout

IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4

10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race