Lotus to conduct filming day at Brands Hatch next week

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Modern-day Formula 1 machinery will return to Brands Hatch next week as Lotus F1 Team completes a filming day at the former host of the British and European Grands Prix.

All of the teams enter the season with an allocation of two ‘filming days’, during which they can are restricted to 100km using Pirelli’s promotional tires. Any other in-season testing is banned in F1.

Lotus will use one of its days next week, announcing that it will be conducting an open filming session that is free for the public to attend in the UK.

“Lotus F1 Team will be at Kent’s Brands Hatch this Monday (27 April) for a special filming event that will see modern Grand Prix machinery take to the circuit for the first time in many years,” a statement reads.

“The venue will be open to the public free of charge all day. All three of the team’s drivers, Romain Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer, son of circuit owner Jonathan, will take the wheel of the Enstone-outfit’s 2015 challenger, the E23 Hybrid.

“A Grand Prix-winning Lotus 72 E-5 will also be driven as part of the filming day’s activities, with pit-stop demonstrations, side-by-side action, practice starts and hot laps in road-going Lotus cars featuring throughout the day.”

Brands Hatch used to alternate hosting the British Grand Prix with Silverstone, but last welcomed the event back in 1986 before it moved north on a permanent basis, where it remains to this day. It also hosted the European Grand Prix in 1985.

The circuit still remains a favorite for national series in the United Kingdom, with the British Touring Car Championship and British Superbike Championship being its two biggest events. The Blancpain GT series will also be visiting the Kentish circuit in two weeks’ time.

For more information on the filming day, check out Lotus F1 Team’s most recent tweets that provide all of the information.

Kyle Busch interests McLaren for Indy 500, but team is leaning toward experience

McLaren Indy Kyle Busch
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With Arrow McLaren SP heavily weighing a fourth car for the Indy 500 next year, Kyle Busch is a candidate but not at the top of the IndyCar team’s list.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown addressed the possibility Wednesday morning during a video news conference with Gavin Ward, the team’s newly named racing director.

“I have not personally spoken with Kyle Busch, but you can read into that that someone else in our organization has,” Brown said. “We want to make sure if we run a fourth car, we’re in the mindset that we want someone that is experienced around the 500. It’s such an important race, and from a going for the championship point of view, we’ve got three drivers that we want to have finish as strong as possible, so if we ran a fourth car, we’d want to be additive, not only for the fourth car itself, but to the three cars and so bringing in someone who’s not done it before potentially doesn’t add that value from an experience point of view.”

Busch will race the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing next season in NASCAR under a new deal that will allow the two-time Cup Series champion to make his Indy 500 debut. Busch, who had a previous deal to run the Indy 500 nixed by Joe Gibbs Racing, openly courted Chevy IndyCar teams to contact him during his introductory news conference with RCR last month.

After Team Penske (which has given no indications of a fourth car at Indy alongside champion Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin), McLaren is the second-best Chevy organization, and it’s fielded an extra Indy 500 car the past two years for Juan Pablo Montoya. The Associated Press reported last month that McLaren was in “serious conversation” about running Busch at Indy with Menards sponsorship.

But with its restructured management, the team is in the midst of significant expansion for 2023. AMSP is adding a third full-time car for 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi to team with Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, and a massive new shop also is being built in the Indianapolis area.

“(It’s) not because of him but purely because of experience,” Brown said of Busch. “He’s an awesome talent and would be huge, huge news for the speedway. But yeah, I think everyone is under consideration if we decide to do it, but experience is right at the top of the list as far as what’s going to be the most important to us.”

And it seems likely there will be a veteran joining Rossi, O’Ward and Rosenqvist at the Brickyard.

“A fourth car at the 500 is very much under consideration,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t even want to get ahead of ourselves, but we wouldn’t be ruling out a fourth car in the future on a full-time basis. That definitely wouldn’t be for ’23. But as we expand the team and get into larger facilities and things of that nature, it’s something that Gavin and I have spoken about.

“I think we would be in a position to run a fourth car at the 500 this upcoming year. If we do decide to do that, we’ll make that decision soon for maximum preparation, and I would say we’re open minded to a fourth car in ’24 and beyond and probably will make that decision middle of next year in time to be prepared if we did decide to do that.”

Brown also addressed the future of Alex Palou, who will be racing for Chip Ganassi Racing next season after also signing a deal with McLaren. Though Brown declined to get into specifics about whether Palou had signed a new deal, he confirmed Palou will continue to test “our Formula One car from time to time.

“Everyone has reached an amicable solution,” Brown said. “We’ve now had Alex in our Formula One car as we have Pato. That will continue in the future, which we’re quite excited about. At this point we’re laser-focused on 2023 and glad to have the noise behind us and now just want to put our head down and get on with the job with the three drivers we have.”