Indy Lights has first official series test today, Wednesday at PBIR

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The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series will have its first official all-car test with its new Dallara IL15 chassis today and tomorrow at Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Fla.

It’s a bit delayed for Indy Lights – the test was originally scheduled for December before it was pushed back, with series officials citing a need for more engine production – but all set to go nonetheless.

The first test will only feature eight cars, which isn’t much and also unrepresentative of the expected car count for the year once more of the new teams confirm more of their lineups.

Five teams are entering the eight cars. Here they are:

  • Belardi Auto Racing: 4-Felix Serralles
  • Schmidt Peterson Motorsports: 7-RC Enerson, 71-Ethan Ringel, 77-Jack Harvey
  • 8Star Motorsports: 8-Scott Hargrove
  • Juncos Racing: 12-Spencer Pigot, 18-Kyle Kaiser
  • Andretti Autosport: 51-Shelby Blackstock

Of these eight cars testing, only Hargrove is not yet confirmed for the full season. But this is the second straight test for the Canadian, which is a promising development for him.

Additional cars are expected from Belardi, SPM and Andretti for the season itself beyond their already confirmed drivers, and also the new Carlin Racing team has already confirmed Ed Jones as its first driver.

Team Moore Racing, which received its first car just before the end of 2014, will not be present at this test. There are a number of other teams which have announced entries but not confirmed any further details.

Lastly, Juan Piedrahita, who drove for SPM last season, has posted on social media he has a ride lined up. The Colombian would be a rare returning driver to the championship.

Here’s the schedule for today’s action, via Juncos Racing.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.