Mario Andretti: Franck Montagny should be banned for life

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Racing legend Mario Andretti feels that disgraced driver Franck Montagny should be permanently banned from the sport after he tested positive for a cocaine derivative recently.

In an interview with Germany’s Die Welt, Mario tells reporter Simon Pausch that if he had his way, Montagny’s career would be over.

“It is a big disappointment for us all, as he also endangered every other driver on the track,” he says in the Welt piece. “What he did is unforgivable in our sport.”

Montagny most recently competed in the first two races of the 2014-15 FIA Formula E season for Andretti Autosport, which is run by Mario’s son and former open-wheel standout Michael Andretti.

He has also made several one-off appearances for Michael’s team in the Verizon IndyCar Series over the course of his career.

Andretti Formula E had to call in Indy Lights driver Matthew Brabham to replace Montagny for Round 3 in Uruguay (at the time, the Frenchman cited a health issue as the reason for his absence there). For last weekend’s Round 4 in Buenos Aires, Michael’s son, IndyCar veteran Marco, took over the team’s second car and finished 13th.

Despite Montagny’s failed test, Mario feels that doping is far from widespread in the sport and that current anti-doping regulations in place are doing what they’re designed to do.

“There are always some black sheep,” Mario conceded, “but there is no doping or drug problem in racing. The fact that Montagny was busted just shows that the control system works.”

It must be noted, however, that Montagny has yet to face official sanctions from the FIA.

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold