Thailand GP organizer unsure of future

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The organizer of the Thailand Grand Prix has cast doubt upon its future after admitting that the race may not go ahead.

The race is due to take place around the streets of Bangkok, with the layout coming under fire for its lack of creativity or challenge for the drivers. However, it has been supported by Bernie Ecclestone as Formula One continues to extend its boundaries with another race in Asia.

Despite this support, Thailand’s sports minister Somsak Phurisisak has admitted that he is unsure about the race.

“We may have to cancel the proposed grand prix,” he told the Bangkok Post.

Set to debut in 2015, the possible cancellation of the race would ease the pressure on some of the existing countries hosting grands prix. With the calendar currently standing at 19 races, and with Russia and New Jersey poised to join it next season, a race in Thailand may force out two existing grands prix in order to hit the agreed maximum of 20 races in a season.

INDYCAR: Newgarden, Sato quickest in first of 2 Friday practices at Road America

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Josef Newgarden was quickest in the first of Friday’s two INDYCAR practice sessions at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champion covered the 4.048-mile, 14-turn course with a best lap of 1:43.0477, followed by Takuma Sato (1:43.4729), Alexander Rossi (1:43.5603), Robert Wickens (1:43.5774) and Marco Andretti (1:43.8825).

Sixth-quickest was Tony Kanaan (1:44.0429), followed by Spencer Pigot (1:44.1080), Zach Veach (1:44.1306), Scott Dixon (1:44.1643) and Matheius Leist (1:44.2963).

Alfonso Celis Jr., making his Verizon IndyCar Series debut and with Juncos Racing, was 22nd quickest in the 23-car field at 1:44.9164, while Gabby Chaves was the slowest driver on the course at 1:46.4485.

While there were no significant incidents during the 45-minute session, a number of drivers struggled in several turns, primarily due to some lingering puddles from overnight rain, as well as on rumble strips that threw their cars into adjacent grass areas.

The second practice session today takes place at 4:15 p.m. ET.

A third practice kicks off Saturday’s busy day at Noon ET, followed by qualifying at 4 p.m. ET, the second round of qualifying at 4:40 p.m. ET and the third and final round of qualifying at 5 p.m. ET.

The weekend’s main event, Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix, takes the green flag shortly after 1 p.m. ET. Make sure to tune in to NBCSN for the live telecast of the race.

We’ll have the full practice grid and driver quotes shortly. Please check back soon.

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