Formula E unveils circuit for Miami ePrix

Photo: FIA Formula E

FIA Formula E’s track layout for the Miami ePrix, which will be held Miami 14 next year, has been revealed on Monday. It will be an eight-turn, 2.17 km layout.

The circuit goes around the American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, and will also incorporate portions of the old Bicentennial Park layout from the 1995 CART race held there.

The run from Turn 8, the last corner leading onto the Start/Finish line, and into Turn 1 is the back straight from that 1995 race. The track veers into a series of four 90-degree corners (left-handed Turn 1, then three straight right-handers) before another left-hander at Turn 5. That straight runs parallel to the Museum park layout.

Turn 5 makes the run onto what was the pit straight for the CART race, before Turns 6 and 7 are a pair of back-to-back right-handers. The pit lane will be on the other side.

A final run that includes a quick left/right chicane will follow before Turn 8, the final corner.

Worth noting that Michael Andretti won the pole for that 1995 CART race and Gil de Ferran made his debut; Andretti’s Andretti Sports Marketing group heads up the Miami ePrix promotion, while de Ferran is an ambassador for Formula E.

Sebastien Ogier in driver’s seat for sixth straight World Rally Championship title

Sebastien Ogier leads the way in the WRC title chase. Photo: Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) — Thierry Neuville finished the sixth stage of Rally Australia on Friday without a rear left tire, damaging his chances of catching five-time defending champion Sebastien Ogier for the World Rally Championship title.

The Belgian driver entered the rally just three points behind Ogier in the closest title fight in 15 years.

He held the upper hand on his French rival, building a near-10 second gap through the first five stages at Coffs Harbour before hitting a chicane and finishing the stage with only three tires on his Hyundai.

Neuville was fortunate the puncture occurred late enough in the day to finish all six forestry stages and avoid a retirement. But the mistake cost him 40 seconds and gave Ogier, who is 33 seconds ahead of him, a clear run at his sixth straight championship.

In his last start with Ford before a move to Citroen next year, Ogier struggled as the first to drive the dusty, slippery forest routes.

“I pushed like crazy, I was on the limit over the jump and everywhere, I can’t do (any) more,” Ogier said. “I was on the limit.”

With Ogier on sweeping duties the back markers flourished, and Mads Ostberg took the lead in his return to the series.

Ostberg was forced to miss the previous round in Spain to make way for rally winner and nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb, who was making the last of his three guest appearances for Citroen.

Now back in the seat, Ostberg leads Jari-Matti Latvala by 6.8 seconds in the Australian rally, with sixth-stage winner Craig Breen in third.

Ogier was seventh, 38.2 seconds off the pace, but only needs to finish ahead of Neuville to claim the championship title. Neuville is in 10th place after six stages.

Roles will reverse on Saturday, with Ogier to start further back in the field and do his best on cleaner roads to make up the day-one deficit before Sunday’s final stages.

Andreas Mikkelsen, the 2016 Rally Australia champion, was an early dropout after rolling into a ditch in his Hyundai. Mikkelsen had only just avoided a tractor that had found its way onto the course.

Former winner Molly Taylor and co-driver Malcolm Read were also forced out of their event when their Subaru hit a hay bale at high speed on the morning’s second stage. Both reported soreness but suffered no serious injuries.

The 24-stage rally totals 319 kilometers (197 miles). Ten stages are scheduled Saturday with the final six on Sunday, most of them through forests on the New South Wales state’s north coast about 530 kilometers (325 miles) north of Sydney.