IndyCar issues fresh engine update prior to Sonoma

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INDYCAR issued a fresh engine update prior to this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (4 p.m. EST, Sunday, NBCSN). All cars but one are either on their fourth or fifth engines. Once teams change to a sixth, further penalties will apply.

There have not been the same number of engine grid penalties issued this year as last, but there are still five races remaining. Thus far, Andretti Autosport, Team Penske, KV Racing Technology, A.J. Foyt Enterprises and Barracuda Racing have only had one engine penalty issued for unapproved changes. Panther Racing, Dragon Racing, and Ed Carpenter Racing have yet to be hit with one. All other teams have two or more; Chip Ganassi Racing, between its three cars, has taken a series-high six grid penalties.

The breakdown as issued by INDYCAR is below:

CAR   ENTRANT                          DRIVER            ENGINE STATUS
No. 1  Andretti Autosport                    Ryan Hunter-Reay    On Engine #4
No. 3  Team Penske                           Helio Castroneves   On Engine #5
No. 4  Panther Racing                        Ryan Briscoe        On Engine #4
No. 5  Team Venezuela-Andretti Autosport-HVM E.J. Viso           On Engine #4
No. 6  Dragon Racing                         Sebastian Saavedra  On Engine #4
No. 7  Dragon Racing                         Sebastien Bourdais  On Engine #4
No. 9  Target Chip Ganassi Racing            Scott Dixon         On Engine #4
No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing            Dario Franchitti    On Engine #5
No. 11 KV Racing Technology                  Tony Kanaan         On Engine #4
No. 12 Team Penske                           Will Power          On Engine #4
No. 14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises                 Takuma Sato         On Engine #4
No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing        Graham Rahal        On Engine #5
No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing        James Jakes         On Engine #5
No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing                     James Davison       On Engine #6* 
No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing                     Justin Wilson       On Engine #4
No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing                   Ed Carpenter        On Engine #4
No. 25 Andretti Autosport                    Marco Andretti      On Engine #4
No. 27 Andretti Autosport                    James Hinchcliffe   On Engine #4
No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports          Tristan Vautier     On Engine #5
No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing           Josef Newgarden     On Engine #5
No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports          Simon Pagenaud      On Engine #4
No. 78 KV Racing Technology                  Simona De Silvestro On Engine #4
No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing      Charlie Kimball     On Engine #4
No. 98 Barracuda Racing                      JR Hildebrand       On Engine #4

*Davison’s car, as it is on sixth engine, is not eligible to score manufacturer points if it is the highest-finishing Honda engine.

Sage Karam, Tony Kanaan fastest in Monday’s practice for Indy 500

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In the second-to-last practice session of the week, Sage Karam paced the 33 drivers qualified for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 on Monday.

Karam had a field-best speed of 226.461 mph, followed by Tony Kanan (225.123 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (224.820), Charlie Kimball (224.582) and Alexander Rossi (224.507).

Sixth through 10th fastest were Will Power (224.445), Helio Castroneves (224.368), Marco Andretti (224.148) and rookie Zachary Claman Demelo (224.91) and Scott Dixon (223.966).

Power and Castroneves ran the most laps of all drivers at 120 and 118, respectively.

Two other Team Penske drivers struggled to get speed out of their cars. Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden was 28th-fastest (221.982 mph) and Simon Pagenaud, who was the slowest (220.902 mph) of the 33 cars on-track.

Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th-fastest with a best speed of 223.573 mph in a 100-lap effort.

Most drivers were in race trim or were testing things for Sunday’s Greatest Spectacle In Racing such as fuel mileage, chassis setup and more.

Rookie Matheus Leist missed most of the session with an apparent electrical problem that kept him to just 19 laps.

There was one incident of note during the 3 ½ hour session: IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens crashed coming out of Turn 2 during the first hour of practice.

Wickens appeared to skim the outside SAFER Barrier, went left and then violently turned hard back into the outside retaining wall.

MORE: Wickens wrecks during Indy 500 practice

The Honda-powered machine for the Canadian driver suffered heavy damage to the right side, particularly the right front tire and the right side of the front end.

There will be no further on-track activity for the Indy cars until Friday’s final practice to fine tune things for Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

We’ll have the full practice speed chart, as well as What Drivers Said, shortly. Please check back soon.

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