IndyCar: Trio of partner updates for Rahal, Newgarden, Bell

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Three brief sponsor and technology updates for drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series:

  • Graham Rahal’s No. 15 National Guard Honda will see Google Glass technology utilized in IndyCar for the first time, with four of his crewmembers set to wear it during pit stops at Wednesday’s Indianapolis Motor Speedway. RLL is partnering with Kansas City, Mo.-based Engage Mobile Solutions to provide the first-person, real-time perspective. More here from an Engage Mobile release.
  • Klipsch Audio, an Indianapolis-based premium speakers and headphones company, will serve as primary sponsor for Josef Newgarden’s No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing entry (see picture, right) for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. “Bringing Klipsch as the primary sponsor to the inaugural Grand Prix will be fantastic, especially with its headquarters here and the excitement around that particular event. We are thankful for their increased involvement and know both SFHR and Klipsch will share the benefits of this great partnership in Indianapolis!” said SFHR team co-owner Sarah Fisher.
  • Townsend Bell’s No. 6 KV Racing Technology entry for the Indianapolis 500 continues to gain partners. Primary sponsor Robert Graham and associate Beneteau have already been announced; Royal Purple was confirmed on Monday. “It is really cool that they have added their support to my Indy 500 effort in addition to their support of my TUDOR United SportsCar Championship AIM Autosport Ferrari program. I just want to thank everyone at Royal Purple and I look forward to enjoying the whole Indy 500 experience with their employees and customers,” Bell said in a release.

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

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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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.