Winning livery design (Team Falken Tire)

Team Falken Tire to run Tandy, new livery at Petit Le Mans

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Team Falken Tire will round out its 2013 campaign in the American Le Mans Series with Nick Tandy rejoining the team as he did at the season opener in Sebring, and a new livery on its 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Tandy joined Falken’s full season drivers Bryan Sellers and Porsche factory ace Wolf Henzler at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the team finished third in the highly stacked GT class. Now, Tandy will race the team’s second car, after it was pressed into action following a bad start-line crash at Baltimore that wiped out the 2012-spec RSR.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back to the American Le Mans Series, back to Falken and also back to Road Atlanta,” Tandy said in a team release. “After the team’s great performance and result at Sebring when I last competed with Falken I’m hoping for more success and will be pushing flat out to achieve this.”

The team’s usual teal and blue livery on the car will be replaced by a fan’s design as created in a Forza Motorsport contest. More than 200 designs were submitted with the final six then voted on on Falken’s Facebook page; Kevin Neuville of Belgium’s design was chosen to be raced.

Also of note, expect Team Falken team manager Derrick Walker to be in attendance and on the box for Petit Le Mans, as IndyCar closes out its 2013 season the same day at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

There have been several IndyCar/ALMS conflicts since Walker joined Team Falken Tire at the start of the 2012 season; in all instances, Walker has been on the box for Falken. Walker was team manager at Ed Carpenter Racing through this year’s Indianapolis 500, before taking on his new role with IndyCar as President of Competition and Operations.

INDYCAR: Newgarden, Sato quickest in first of 2 Friday practices at Road America

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Josef Newgarden was quickest in the first of Friday’s two INDYCAR practice sessions at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champion covered the 4.048-mile, 14-turn course with a best lap of 1:43.0477, followed by Takuma Sato (1:43.4729), Alexander Rossi (1:43.5603), Robert Wickens (1:43.5774) and Marco Andretti (1:43.8825).

Sixth-quickest was Tony Kanaan (1:44.0429), followed by Spencer Pigot (1:44.1080), Zach Veach (1:44.1306), Scott Dixon (1:44.1643) and Matheius Leist (1:44.2963).

Alfonso Celis Jr., making his Verizon IndyCar Series debut and with Juncos Racing, was 22nd quickest in the 23-car field at 1:44.9164, while Gabby Chaves was the slowest driver on the course at 1:46.4485.

While there were no significant incidents during the 45-minute session, a number of drivers struggled in several turns, primarily due to some lingering puddles from overnight rain, as well as on rumble strips that threw their cars into adjacent grass areas.

The second practice session today takes place at 4:15 p.m. ET.

A third practice kicks off Saturday’s busy day at Noon ET, followed by qualifying at 4 p.m. ET, the second round of qualifying at 4:40 p.m. ET and the third and final round of qualifying at 5 p.m. ET.

The weekend’s main event, Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix, takes the green flag shortly after 1 p.m. ET. Make sure to tune in to NBCSN for the live telecast of the race.

We’ll have the full practice grid and driver quotes shortly. Please check back soon.

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