IndyCar’s manufacturer points lead on the line in Sonoma

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For the first time since engine competition returned to the IZOD IndyCar Series last year, Honda has the chance to lead the Manufacturer’s Championship instead of Chevrolet.

The two enter this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (4 p.m. EST, Sunday, NBCSN) tied on 105 points apiece, each with seven wins through the first 14 races.

Five races remain and whichever manufacturer wins three of the last five will take the title. Honda is riding a four-race winning streak on the strength of partner team Chip Ganassi Racing, three straight by Scott Dixon at Pocono and both Toronto races, with Charlie Kimball scoring his first win at Mid-Ohio last race.

Team Penske, Chevrolet’s generally accepted “lead dog” (along with Andretti Autosport), has won the last three races at Sonoma with Will Power in 2010 and 2011, and Ryan Briscoe a year ago.

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.”