IndyCar: Chevy captures doubleheader podium sweep in Toronto

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TORONTO – The Verizon IndyCar Series races in Toronto this weekend were called the Honda Indy Toronto.

The winners, though, rocked the Chevrolet bowtie.

Chevrolet took five of six podium positions on home soil in Detroit, as part of that doubleheader weekend and an overall weekend of dominance across IndyCar, Pirelli World Challenge and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

At Houston, Honda regained the advantage with five of the six podium positions there.

But it was back to Chevrolet holding the edge in Toronto, with a full podium lockout. All six podium finishers – race one podium Sebastien Bourdais, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan and the race two podium of Mike Conway, Kanaan and Will Power – drove for Chevrolet-powered teams.

Chevrolet had the IndyCar Manufacturer’s Championship lead heading into the weekend and the double-double in T.O. – not the Tim Horton’s but the actual on-track variety – will go far to help Chevrolet capture another title since its return to INDYCAR in 2012.

“Weekends like this are cherished for their rarity.” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, Verizon IndyCar Series. “Chevrolet is proud to partner with and provide the power to all of our Team Chevy organizations. We leave Toronto with a full head of steam and look forward to Mid-Ohio on August 3rd.”

Added Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President Performance Vehicle and Motorsports, “It was an exciting weekend for Chevrolet on the Streets of Toronto to capture four of the top-five finishing positions in Race One, and the top-four in Race Two,” Campbell concluded. “The credit for the results goes to the drivers and the teams In addition, all four of the Chevrolet partner race organizations – KVSH Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing, Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing – contributed valuable manufacturer points in both races.”

Through 14 of 18 races, Chevrolet has eight IndyCar race wins this year to Honda’s six.

F1: Red Bull Racing confirms switch to Honda engines next season

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Honda will become Red Bull’s engine supplier from next season after the Formula One team confirmed its anticipated split with Renault on Tuesday.

The Japanese manufacturer will supply engines for 2019 and 2020, and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner hailed the deal as “an exciting new phase” in the bid to return to the top of F1.

“After careful consideration and evaluation, we are certain this partnership with Honda is the right direction for the team,” Horner said in a team statement. “We have been impressed by Honda’s commitment to F1, by the rapid steps they have made in recent times with our (feeder) team Toro Rosso.”

It is a boost for Honda, which was unceremoniously dumped by McLaren at the end of last year.

Honda has started this season brightly as engine provider for Toro Rosso, and this may have been a key factor in Red Bull finally ditching Renault.

“Honda’s alignment with both Red Bull Formula One teams provides enormous potential,” Horner said. “Honda will have access to a wealth of data from both outfits, with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing leading the way, and the opportunities for faster, more effective and more competitive development are doubled.”

The deal brings to an end Red Bull’s 12-year partnership with Renault.

Although relations became increasingly strained between the two parties in recent years, it was once a dream partnership as Red Bull and Renault won four straight drivers’ and constructors’ championships with Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel from 2010-13.

During that glory era, Vettel and teammate Mark Webber won 47 grand prix. Since 2013, results have somewhat dried up and there have been only 10 race wins.

“We have sometimes had our differences but Renault has always worked tirelessly and to the best of its ability to provide us with a competitive power unit,” Horner said.

He was not always quite so complimentary about Renault. He has regularly and publicly criticized Renault’s reliability in recent years – although it has been hard to judge sometimes.

Red Bull showed good speed toward the end of last season when Max Verstappen won two races, and teammate Daniel Ricciardo won this season’s Chinese GP with a brilliant drive. The difference in speed between Red Bull and Mercedes appears less than before, although Ferrari remains noticeably quicker.

Verstappen’s form has picked up after a poor start to 2018, marred by crashes, and he has taken third place in two of the past three races.

Meanwhile, McLaren’s partnership with Renault has not been as successful as they anticipated after dropping Honda following three fruitless seasons together.

Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso has failed to finish the past two races and has yet to place higher than fifth. Renault teammate Nico Hulkenberg has a best finish of fourth place.