NOLA kicks off crazy stretch of 10 weeks in a row for IndyCar


The Verizon IndyCar Series’ long offseason stretched seven months in-between races at Auto Club Speedway August 30, 2014 and the season-opening race on the streets of St. Petersburg March 29.

But starting this weekend, the series will be on-track every weekend between now and June 15, with plenty of more weekday track time in-between.

This 10-week consecutive stretch is going to test the mettle of drivers, crews, and staff alike. Here’s the rundown of days of on-track activity between this week’s inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana and the Honda Indy Toronto in June:

  • April 10-12, NOLA Motorsports Park, Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana
  • April 17-19, Streets of Long Beach, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
  • April 25-26 (no Friday practice), Barber Motorsports Park, Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
  • May 3, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, oval aero kit testing
  • May 7-9, IMS road course, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis
  • May 11-15, IMS oval, Indianapolis 500 practice
  • May 16-17, IMS oval, Indianapolis 500 qualifying/pole qualifying
  • May 18, IMS oval, Indianapolis 500 practice
  • May 22, IMS oval, Indianapolis 500 Carb Day practice
  • May 24, IMS oval, 99th Indianapolis 500
  • May 29-31, Belle Isle Park, Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans
  • June 5-6, Texas Motor Speedway, Firestone 600
  • June 12-14, Exhibition Place, Honda Indy Toronto

From tomorrow, April 10, through June 14, IndyCar has official on-track sessions in 30 of the next 66 days.

Figure the leftover 36 requires transport, car changeover and other logistical elements, and it’s going to be 66 days of madness between now and the series’ lone trip to Canada for all involved with the championship.

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

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E

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.