Here’s what we know after handful of IndyCar teams test at Sonoma Tuesday

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Official bits of information were limited from an IZOD IndyCar Series’ manufacturer/team test at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday, but eight teams were on hand and there a few noteworthy items:

  • Two drivers, Lucas Luhr and Ryo Hirakawa, made their testing debuts. Luhr’s been confirmed to race on August 25 in the No. 97 RW/SFHR Honda as a teammate to Josef Newgarden and with some Muscle Milk Pickett Racing support. Hirakawa, the 19-year-old 2012 Japanese Formula 3 champion, was the latest through the revolving door of Dale Coyne’s second car. Hirakawa impressed and tweeted late in the day, “Finally I finished the first IRL test without any trouble with the 0.7 sec off the pace.” I’m impressed by his pace – the next step for him is calling it INDYCAR and not IRL…
  • Ryan Briscoe, 2012 Sonoma race winner, returned to action for Panther Racing for the first time since fracturing his wrist at race one of the Honda Indy Toronto in July, exactly one month ago. He’s missed two IndyCar (Carlos Munoz and Oriol Servia replaced him) and American Le Mans Series (Mike Conway and Simon Pagenaud) races apiece in that stretch. Sonoma’s a physical track but it’s good to see INDYCAR clear the Australian for it. His most recent action was in the NBC Sports Network broadcast booth at Mid-Ohio.
  • The @IndyCarPR “very unofficial” fast 5 at the lunch break had Ryan Hunter-Reay leading at a 1:18.8. Unofficial times from those on site – RACER’s Marshall Pruett, Autosport’s Mark Glendenning and the @OnTheLimitBlog site – pegged laps in the 1:20 bracket.
  • Here’s your tweet roundup we found from the others at the track today, which included all four Andretti Autosport drivers (Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, E.J. Viso), Dragon Racing’s pair (Sebastian Saavedra, Sebastien Bourdais), owner/driver Ed Carpenter, Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Graham Rahal and James Jakes, and Dale Coyne’s Justin Wilson.

 

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”