Report: Providence in talks for 2015 IndyCar Series event

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After losing its Baltimore round, the IndyCar Series could be able to re-strengthen its Northeast presence by the 2015 season with a street race in Providence, Rhode Island.

Local radio station WPRO-AM reports that talks are ongoing between race organizers and city and state officials; a spokesman for Providence mayor Angel Taveras confirmed conversations between city officials and the series but stressed to WPRO that, at least currently, “there is no agreement in place to bring the event to Providence.”

Nonetheless, Mark Perrone, the general manager of the New England Grand Prix promotions group, is confident that Providence will soon have a place on the IndyCar calendar.

“The Northeast market is some place [IndyCar wants] to be, especially now,” Perrone told WPRO. “[Providence] will be the only presence from St. Petersburg [Fla.] to Toronto on the east coast.”

The series currently has one Northeast round with its event at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. It last raced specifically in New England back in 2011 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. That race proved to be a one-and-done affair after it failed to meet financial expectations.

A few years ago, Providence had been in the mix for a 2013 IndyCar date but while series officials had high praise for the bid, they felt Little Rhody’s capital city needed more time to get things squared away.

For his part, Perrone seems to agree with that previous decision.

“I think we were trying to rush a lot of things,” he told WPRO of Providence’s earlier efforts regarding an IndyCar event. “We were trying to put a round peg in a square hole.”

The plan for a Providence event involves an 11-turn, 2.1-mile street circuit with a finish line near the Rhode Island State House. A tentative date for the event has been set for Aug. 7-9, 2015.

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.”