Sam Bird tops Formula E practice in Malaysia

Leave a comment

After a hiatus of more than two months, the all-electric FIA Formula E championship resumes its season tonight with Round 2 in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird has topped the one-hour, 15-minute practice that will lead into qualifying at 9 p.m. ET. Late in the session, Bird threw down a 1:21.496 around the 12-turn, 1.6-mile Putrajaya street circuit.

The session got a bit messy during the final half-hour. A red flag came out for TrulliGP driver Michela Cerruti losing a wheel, which robbed the drivers of about 15 minutes of track time.

Then towards the very end, Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld – who survived a horrific crash following last-lap contact with e.dams-Renault’s Nicolas Prost in the Beijing season opener – found the Turn 3 barrier.

The Venturi team has since tweeted that Heidfeld is OK, but the session did not restart after his latest incident. Also suffering trouble late was Red Bull Global Rallycross’ own Nelson Piquet Jr., who sustained a broken rear suspension on his China Racing entry.

American-based squad Dragon Racing was represented toward the top of the time sheets, as Jerome d’Ambrosio went P2 with a 1:22.043 run. e.dams-Renault’s Sebastien Buemi was third-fastest with a 1:22.256, followed by Dragon’s other pilot, IndyCar vet Oriol Servia in fourth (1:22.584). Prost (1:22.674) rounded out the Top 5.

The other U.S. team, Andretti Formula E, had Indy Lights pilot Matthew Brabham go to seventh (1:22.961) and Franck Montagny to eighth (1:23.287). Brabham is subbing in for Charles Pic, who is on reserve duty for Lotus at the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend.

Lucas di Grassi, who became Formula E’s inaugural race winner in Beijing following the Heidfeld-Prost crack-up, was only 13th-fastest in his Audi Sport Abt entry with a 1:24.825.

Tonight’s race is scheduled for a 1 a.m. ET start in the United States.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.