Keselowski, Logano to do some unique off-season ‘testing’

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NASCAR may have banned teams from taking part in non-sanctioned tests, but Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are still going to do some off-season “testing” next week.

And it’ll all be very legal by NASCAR standards.

The two Penske Racing teammates will get the opportunity to drive a very unique vehicle, an urban concept car nicknamed “Urbie,” built by students from Ohio’s Cedarville University, according to the Xenia Gazette.

In an event sponsored by Shell, Keselowski and Logano are slated to take part in the test of Urbie at the Detroit Auto Show, and will then give their feedback on their experience. They’ll also take part in a Q&A session with students.

“They’re going to take Urbie, our car, and the Shell urban concept car and they’re going to have them on the track at the same time,” Ben Ingis, a junior mechanical engineering student and head of Cedarville’s urban concept team told the Gazette.

“Our cars are not going to go the speed the are accustomed to,” Ingis said. (But) It’ll definitely be an opportunity for some interesting … (and) valuable feedback for us.”

Added junior engineering student and the leader of Cedarville’s supermilage team, Tyler Dicks, “I think it’s going to be a great opportunity to show off the work we’ve been doing the last three years.”

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Valtteri Bottas on Silverstone pole; Nico Hulkenberg a surprising third

F1 Bottas Hamilton Silverstone
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Valtteri Bottas nipped Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in Silverstone qualifying Saturday to maintain the team’s hammerlock on F1 results this season while Nico Hulkenberg was a surprise in third.

Hulkenberg is filling in for Sergio Perez for the second consecutive race while the Racing Point driver recovers from coronavirus.

It’s the best F1 start since 2016 for Hulkenberg, who was left without a full-time ride after the 2019 season. He finished 20th at Silverstone last week when an engine problem on the grid prevented him ftaking the green.

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“The last seven to eight days have been crazy,” Hulkenberg said after qualifying. “This weekend I felt much better prepared. Q3 was just head down, full beans, and give it whatever I had.

“I’m a bit surprised to be standing here, but there’s a big smile on my face.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified fourth and will be among the field trying to derail the Mercedes duo that has won the first four races of an F1 season delayed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Feels good,” Bottas said after nipping Hamilton by a few hundredths of a second on his final lap for his 13th career pole position. ” I just love qualifying especially, when it goes well. Proud to drive this car. The race pace is there, so our first job is to get a good start off the line tomorrow and go from there.”

The impressive lap came two days after Bottas, who won the season opener in Austria, announced a one-year contract extension with the team.

Mercedes also is set to begin negotiating a new deal with Hamilton, who has won the past three races in F1 but was disappointed Saturday.

“Valtteri did a great job, but for me, it wasn’t a perfect last lap,” he said. “I don’t think many teams will be doing a one-stop race tomorrow so let’s wait and see how things turn out.”