Martin Plowman confirmed for May Indy double with Foyt

7 Comments

A.J. Foyt Racing is providing another young driver a shot at his first Indianapolis 500 in the team’s second car, as Englishman Martin Plowman has been confirmed in the team’s No. 41 Honda for both the ‘500 and Grand Prix of Indianapolis road course race earlier in the month of May.

Al-Fe Heat Treating, which announced its return to the team a couple weeks ago, will serve as primary sponsor for the road race. Foyt’s usual ABC Supply Co. primary sponsor, which is the main backer for Takuma Sato’s No. 14, is back on-board the No. 41 for the ‘500.

Plowman, who raced three IndyCar events in 2011 in a jointly entered AFS-Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, follows Conor Daly (2013) and Wade Cunningham (2012) as ‘500 debutantes in Foyt’s second car.

In 2013, Plowman was part of the LMP2 class-winning lineup in OAK Racing’s Morgan Nissan for both the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Driver’s Championship at year’s end in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

“Once my career took me to sports cars I was concerned that I would never get the chance to race at and win the Indy 500,” Plowman said in a team release. “Winning at Le Mans last year was an incredible feeling that can only be beaten by one day adding my face to the Borg Warner trophy. I’ve lived in Indianapolis for the last five years, and winning there is what I dream about.

“I have to say a massive thank you to Larry and A.J. Foyt, ABC Supply, Al-Fe Heat Treating and all who have made this opportunity possible,” Plowman added.  “A.J. Foyt is one of the greatest drivers to have lived and someone who I look up to a lot. It will be an honor to represent his team in May.”

Plowman won races in Indy Lights in two years in that championship, competing from 2009 to 2010. In 2012 and 2013, he’s raced the Morgan Nissan LMP2 package, first for Conquest Racing in the American Le Mans Series and then shifting to OAK for the WEC last year.

While his full 2014 calendar is yet to be determined, Plowman does have the unofficial mark of being the first Indy-only driver confirmed for the year. The race up to 33 or more cars for the ‘500 officially begins now.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
0 Comments

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.