Hawksworth to get first IndyCar test with Rahal

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will test Jack Hawksworth, the reigning Pro Mazda champion and three-time Indy Lights race winner, in its IndyCar on Sept. 17 at Sebring International Raceway. He’s having a seat fitting at the team’s shop today.

The test is merely an exploratory one for now as Hawksworth looks toward 2014. He has two races remaining in the Indy Lights season and sits only 11 points back of series leader and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammate Sage Karam after a dominant weekend in Baltimore.

“Looking further ahead to 2014, I would obvi­ously love to be in an IndyCar seat, and if that happens, my aim will be the same as it has always been – to maxi­mize my poten­tial and that of the team and score as many points as possible,” Hawksworth said. “My goal isn’t simply to compete in IndyCar, it is to ulti­mately win IndyCar races and cham­pi­onships – and I know without any doubt that I can.”

“We have watched Jack from afar in Indy Lights; he is obvi­ously a proven winner there and there is no reason to think that he couldn’t be compet­i­tive in Indy cars and be a future winner there as well. We are anxious to put Jack in the car at Sebring and see how he does,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal.

RLL currently fields two Hondas for Graham Rahal and James Jakes, and ran a third car for Mike Conway at Long Beach. A third car entered at Indianapolis for Michel Jourdain Jr. failed to qualify.

Graham will test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on Wednesday.

F1’s Valtteri Bottas to compete in first-ever rally race in his native Finland

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Formula One’s “Flying Finn” is going back home for the first time.

More precisely, Valtteri Bottas is returning to his Finland homeland to compete in his first career rally race in the Finnish Rally Championship season opener.

Bottas, teammates on the F1 Mercedes team with five-time champ Lewis Hamilton, will compete in the World Rally Championships’ Arctic Lapland Rally from January 24-26.

He’ll team with two-time World Rally champion Timo Rautiainen in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC on rally roads of the Finnish Arctic Circle.

“This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying,” Bottas told Finnish rallying website Rallism.f1. “I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible.

“It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car. Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving in.”

Added Rautiainen, “In my life, I’ve sat in a rally car with only three drivers, but this is such an interesting mission that I just had to accept the challenge. I believe that for a talented wheelman like Valtteri, we’ll be able to establish a good basic driving routine in testing.”

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