FIA WEC: Audi hopes to fight back at Spa with 3 car team

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After suffering an embarrassing double retirement in the first round of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship season at Silverstone last weekend, defending world champions Audi are looking to hit back at the 6 Hours of Spa on May 3.

In addition to the #1 and #2 cars that will take part at every round on the WEC calendar this year, Audi will also field a third car for the race at Spa-Francorchamps as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. This will be driven by WEC debutant Felipe Albuquerque and Marco Bonanomi, with third driver Oliver Jarvis missing the race in Belgium due to other commitments.

Following all the tests, I’m now excited about my first race in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro,” Albuquerque said. “We prepared step by step and are hoping for a good race. The car is great fun. I can hardly wait for my stint.”

Bonanomi is also keen on repeating his podium finish at last year’s race, which was won by the #1 car of Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer.

I’m very happy about being able to race for Audi again,” the Italian said. “We’ll be driving a car with different aerodynamics than the two sister race cars.

“We do this to prepare for our Le Mans commitment. After our tests with this body version, I’m confident. And within the squad of Audi Sport, Audi Sport Team Joest and among the drivers the atmosphere is good, too.”

Audi will also debut the ‘long tail’ R18 eTron Quattro at Spa, and all at Ingolstadt will be keen on bouncing back after such a disappointing result at Silverstone.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.