IndyCar: Dixon leads day of Grand Prix of Indy road course testing (UPDATED, VIDEO)

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AFTERNOON: Times dipped into the 1:09s into the afternoon, a full two seconds faster than this morning, as the IMS road course rubbered in and gained time for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ test session ahead of the May 10 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

Scott Dixon posted the day’s fastest lap at 1:09.5969 with teammate Ryan Briscoe and Simon Pagenaud also into the 1:09s, and completing the top three.

“I’ve obviously got a big smile on my face,” said Dixon, not just because of his time in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, but more due to the track layout.

“The track was so much fun today. The thing they captured, it’s a demanding circuit. The cars all seem very close which is going to create some fantastic racing. These big straights, I think Brazil is probably the only other time we’ve had a straight similar length like this.”

Combined times are linked here. All bar Mikhail Aleshin posted times in the second session, and all made substantial improvements from the morning. Aleshin and Graham Rahal reported “engine issues” during the day.

MORNING: The first test session of the day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is in the books for testing on the new IMS road course, ahead of the May 10 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

It may be a new circuit but it was a familiar name leading the morning session – Verizon Team Penske’s Will Power. His former teammate and now NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing driver Ryan Briscoe was second.

Briscoe and Graham Rahal had the opportunity to test on the track before the race was formally announced last fall.

More to the point, here’s the rest of the morning testing times.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.