WEC: Porsche continues to lead the way in Sao Paulo Practice 2


Seeking to end the 2014 World Endurance Championship with a win, Porsche’s 919 Hybrids remained atop the time sheets in the second WEC practice session at Interlagos.

Brendon Hartley put the No. 20 Porsche at P1 in first practice, and this time, it was Mark Webber that did the job with a lap of 1 minute, 18.349 seconds. Following him was the No. 14 Porsche with a lap of 1 minute, 18.440 seconds, which was good enough for second.

Both Audi R18 e-tron quattros slotted in third and fourth behind the Porsche camp. The No. 1 Audi was good for P3 with a lap of 1 minute, 18.455 seconds, and the No. 2 Audi posted a lap of 1 minute, 18.615 seconds that went for fourth. The Toyota No. 8 TS040 Hybrid was fifth (1 minute, 19.239 seconds).

G-Drive also retained P1 in the LMP2 category, this time courtesy of a 1 minute, 24.306 second-lap in the No. 26 Ligier/Nissan from Olivier Pla.

A pair of Aston Martins were fastest in the GTE-Pro category. The No. 99 Vantage V8 went to top class honors with a lap of 1 minute, 30.112 seconds, followed by the No. 97 Vantage’s 1 minute, 30.177-second run.

The Astons also went 1-2 in the GTE-Am category as well; the No. 97 paced the class at 1 minute, 30.367 seconds, and the No. 95 topped out at 1 minute, 30.887 seconds.

Practice will resume tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying at 11:45 a.m. ET. The 6 Hours of Sao Paulo race will take place on Sunday at 10 a.m. ET.

Roger Penske discusses flying tire at Indy 500 with Dallara executives: ‘We’ve got to fix that’


INDIANAPOLIS – Roger Penske spoke with Dallara executives Monday morning about the loose tire that went flying over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway catchfence and into a Turn 2 parking lot.

The left-rear wheel from Kyle Kirkwood’s No. 27 Dallara-Honda was sheared off in a collision at speed as Kirkwood tried to avoid the skidding No. 6 Dallara-Chevrolet of Felix Rosenqvist on Lap 183 of the 107th Indianapolis 500.

No one seriously was hurt in the incident (including Kirkwood, whose car went upside down and slid for several hundred feet), though an Indianapolis woman’s Chevy Cruze was struck by the tire. The Indy Star reported a fan was seen and released from the care center after sustaining minor injuries from flying debris in the crash.

During a photo shoot Monday morning with Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden at the IMS Yard of Bricks, Penske met with Dallara founder and owner Gian Paolo Dallara and Dallara USA CEO Stefano dePonti. The Italian company has been the exclusive supplier of the current DW12 chassis to the NTT IndyCar series for 11 years.

“The good news is we didn’t have real trouble with that tire going out (of the track),” Penske, who bought Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2020, told a few reporters shortly afterward. “I saw it hit. When it went out, I saw we were OK. I talked to the Dallara guys today. We’re going to look at that, but I guess the shear (force) from when (Rosenqvist’s) car was sitting, (Kirkwood’s car) went over and just that shear force tore that tether. Because we have tethers on there, and I’ve never seen a wheel come off.

“That to me was probably the scariest thing. We’ve got to fix that. We’ve got to fix that so that doesn’t happen again.”

Asked by NBC Sports if IndyCar would be able to address it before Sunday’s Detroit Grand Prix or before the next oval race at Iowa Speedway, Penske said, “The technical guys should look at it. I think the speed here, a couple of hundred (mph) when you hit it vs. 80 or 90 or whatever it might be, but that was a pinch point on the race.”

In a statement released Monday to WTHR and other media outlets, IndyCar said that it was “in possession of the tire in Sunday’s incident and found that the tether did not fail. This is an isolated incident, and the series is reviewing to make sure it does not happen again. IndyCar takes the safety of the drivers and fans very seriously. We are pleased and thankful that no one was hurt.”

IndyCar provided no further explanation for how the wheel was separated from the car without the tether failing.

IndyCar began mandating wheel suspension tethers using high-performance Zylon material after a flying tire killed three fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway during a May 1, 1999 race. Three fans also were struck and killed by a tire at Michigan International Speedway during a July 26, 1998 race.

The IndyCar tethers can withstand a force of more than 22,000 pounds, and the rear wheel tethers were strengthened before the 2023 season.