Brickyard GP may move out of NASCAR weekend at Indy

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For the last two years, GRAND-AM sports car racing has served as the opening act for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s NASCAR “Super Weekend.” But that may not be the case in 2014.

Next year’s schedule for United SportsCar Racing – the new entity that will debut following the merger of GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series – has not yet been released, but it’s likely that Indy will stay on. However, according to a Friday story from Curt Cavin of The Indianapolis Star, IMS president Doug Boles has confirmed that multiple new dates are being discussed for the Brickyard Grand Prix.

The most interesting possibility is a doubleheader pairing in early May with the IZOD IndyCar Series that would start the run to the Indianapolis 500 on the track’s legendary oval. Before anybody jumps to conclusions, keep in mind that Cavin notes the potential event is something that Boles currently regards as simply “conceptual.”

Additional options for Indy’s sports car race also include a move to August or September according to Cavin.

Back in May, Hulman & Co. president Mark Miles said that his group would be willing to make improvements to Indy’s oft-maligned road course if the decision was made to race IndyCars on the circuit. Based on that and the talk of a potential sports car/IndyCar doubleheader, it’s safe to say that IMS really wants to ensure major use of its ‘other track’ in the years ahead.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).