Audi runs into trouble as Hour 7 begins at Le Mans

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Shortly before the 24 Hours of Le Mans moved into its seventh hour, the race-leading No. 1 Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro of Benoit Treluyer, Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler suffered problems and was forced into the garage, where its crew has feverishly begun work in an attempt to alleviate the issue.

Audi had been tight-lipped about the problem, with the only piece of information relayed by American race broadcaster SPEED Channel being that the No. 1 has an issue with its “electric generator.” The team later tweeted that the alternator was being changed on the No. 1 machine.

As a result, the No. 2 Audi R18 of Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish has taken the overall lead with the twin Toyota Racing TS 030 Hybrids moving to second (No. 8 – Stephane Sarrazin, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson) and third (No. 7 – Kazuki Nakajima, Nicolas Lapierre and Alex Wurz) ahead of the No. 3 Audi R18 (Marc Gene, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis), which has fallen back to fourth after pitting for a tire puncture.

The No. 1 team has fallen back currently to 15th overall, as Kristensen has taken over the No. 2 Audi and Sarrazin is now in the No. 8 Toyota.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.