IndyCar: Jack Hawksworth ready to go full-throttle for Foyt

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For several years, A.J. Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato has espoused the philosophy of “No Attack, No Chance.”

So it’s fitting that his new teammate, second-year pilot Jack Hawksworth, shares that same philosophy.

“That’s what we’re in it for, right? We’re in it to win,” Hawksworth said today after it was announced that he’d join the Foyt camp as a second full-time driver for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

“Takuma is going to go flat out and try and win, and so am I. That’s what the whole team’s here to do. We’re here to win, to give 120%. If on the day, that’s enough, fantastic. If not, we’ll keep trying. I think that’s the only way to go racing really.”

With a pair of gassers like Sato and Hawksworth, there’s the potential for fireworks in both a good and a bad way.

But A.J., the four-time Indianapolis 500 champion that’s set to field his first (full-time) two-car lineup in more than a decade, only has a few directives for his new duo.

“The way I look at racing, if you can’t have a lot of fun in racing, you shouldn’t be in it,” he said. “I still look at it – you always want to win but you also have a lot of fun. That’s the way I look at a two-car team.

“I want them to run each other as hard as they can, but don’t take each other out. There will be a day when one of them will be a little better than the other one, and that’s why they call it racing.”

Hawksworth is coming off a freshman season in which he put on several impressive displays driving the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport entry.

Chief among them was a podium during Race 2 of the Houston doubleheader, in which he charged from 23rd on the starting grid to a third-place finish. He was also particularly stout in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis, leading 31 laps from the front row before finishing seventh.

Now, in year two, Hawksworth gets to have an opportunity to pair up with Sato, who of course carries extensive experience and can be of great assistance in the young Brit’s evolution as an IndyCar driver.

“Jack and I [weren’t] necessarily racing together in ’14, but we get on really close on track, off track as well,” Sato said. “I’m really, really looking forward to working with him. That’s a perfect combination for the team I think.”

Just as important for Hawksworth, he’ll have the chance to enjoy more resources than he was able to with the single-car BHA group.

“We’re going to get twice as much telemetry, twice as much data than if it was a single-car team,” he said. “I only see good things from it…The thing at the moment, with these race weekends, the ovals, the street and road courses, there’s so little practice time. If you have two cars out there running, you can try different things, different approaches in the practice sessions.

“Hopefully at the end of the day, you put all of that together from both cars, then you take a significant step forward.”

Also in Hawksworth’s corner will be chief engineer Raul Prados, who worked his way through various European series including GP2 before joining the Foyt camp in 2012.

In 2013, Prados started working full-time under Sato’s engineer, Don Halliday, and this past season, he became a chief engineer himself on the No. 41 Foyt entry for Martin Plowman in the GP of Indy and the Indianapolis 500.

“We’ve been in contact,” Hawksworth said of the Spaniard. “It’s early days. But it was quite clear immediately we had a good chemistry, a good connection.

“I think once we get testing and he’s able to, I guess, understand what I want from the car, hopefully I can give him the right information. Hopefully, once we get into the season, we’re all singing off the same hymn sheet and we can go kick some ass.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah, Toby Price win Dakar Rally

Dakar.com, Frederic le Floc'h / DPPI
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Driving a safe final stage that placed him 12th across the line, Nasser Al-Attiyah claimed his third Dakar Rally victory on Thursday. Toby Price claimed his second Dakar win in motorcycles after winning the final stage.

Al-Attiyah could afford to play it safe since he entered the stage with a 51-minute advantage over the field. Price barely had a minute to spare and was forced to push hard through the short 112-kilometer course.

Price’s victory was all the more dramatic in light of his riding the entire rally with a pin in his wrist from a broken scaphoid bone.

In the Quads class, Nicolas Cavigliasso showed his dominance by winning nine of the 10 stages.

Here are some of the other highlights:

In the cars class, Last year’s overall class winner, Carlos Sainz finally earned a stage win, but it was too little, too late. … Sebastien Loeb challenged for the class win throughout the stage and finished less than one minute back. … Cyril Despres rounded out the top three. … Nani Roma finished sixth, four minutes behind the leader, but less than five minutes ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Class Leaders: Al-Attiyah won his third Dakar by a margin of 46:42 over Roma and one hour, 54:18 over Loeb.

In motorcycles, Toby Price saved the best for last. He won his first stage of the rally and secured the class win. … His victory came with a margin of 2:21 over Jose Florima. … Matthias Walkner enter entered the stage with an opportunity to take the overall lead. His third-place finish was not bad, but it came with his principal rival finishing first. … Pablo Quintanilla took a fall early in the stage and injured his foot. Riding hurt, he finished the stage 22nd – nearly 20 minutes off the pace. … American Andrew Short finished seventh for his eighth top 10 of the rally.

Class Leaders: Price ended the rally with the biggest advantage of the year. He beat Walkner by 9:13. Sam Sunderland finished third, 13:34 behind the leader.

In side by sides, Reinaldo Varela won his second consecutive stage and third overall. … He had a comfortable margin of 3:39 over Cristian Baumgart and 6:10 over Francisco Lopez Contardo.

Class Leaders: Contardo’s third-place finish in the stage was more than enough to secure the class victory over Gerard Farres Guell, who finished one hour, 2:35. Varela finished one hour, 5:19 behind in third.

In quads, In a show of utter dominance, Nicolas Cavigliasso won his ninth stage of the year. … Alexandre Giroud stood on the podium for the fourth time this year. While he didn’t win a stage, he never finished worse than sixth. … Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli rounded out the top three.

Class Leaders: Cavigliasso won by an advantage of one hour, 55:37 over Ferioli and two hours, 11:38 over Gustavo Gallego

In trucks, Ton Van Genugton rebounded from a poor Stage 9 in which he finished 12th to win his second stage of the rally. … Ales Loprais scored his first podium of the rally; his previous best finish was fourth in Stage 9. … Dmitry Sotnikov stood on the final rung of the podium.

Class Leaders: Eduard Nikolaev finished sixth in the stage, but won with an advantage of 25:36 over Sotnikov and one hour, 34:44 over Gerard de Rooy

Stage Wins

Motorcycles
Sam Sunderland [2] (Stage 5 and 7), Matthias Walkner [2] (Stage 2 and 8), Joan Barreda [1] (Stage 1), Xavier de Soultrait [1] (Stage 3), Ricky Brabec [1] (Stage 4), Pablo Quintanilla [1] (Stage 6), Michael Metge [1] (Stage 9) and Toby Price [1] (Stage 10)

Quads
Nicolas Cavigliasso [9] (Stage 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10) and Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli [1] (Stage 3)

Cars
Sebastien Loeb [4] (Stage 2, 5, 6 and 8), Nasser Al-Attiyah [3] (Stage 1, 4 and 9), Stephane Peterhansel [2] (Stage 3 and 7) and [1] Carlos Sainz

Side-by-sides
Francisco Lopez Contardo [4] (Stage 2, 6, 7 and 8), Reinaldo Varela [3] (Stage 1, 9 and 10), Gerard Farres Guell [1] (Stage 3), Sergei Kariakin [1] (Stage 4) and Rodrigo Piazzoli [1] (Stage 5)

Trucks
Eduard Nikolaev [3] (Stage 1, 2, and 9), Andrey Karginov [2] (Stage 3 and 4), Ton Van Genugton [2] (Stage 5 and 10), Dmitry Sotnikov [2] (Stage 6 and 8), and Gerard de Rooy [1] (Stage 7)

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