Andreas Bakkerud to sub for Piquet Jr. with SH Rallycross at X Games

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Both Nelson Piquet Jr. and Scott Speed have a conflict during the June 6 weekend with the two championships they race in, the Red Bull Global Rallycross and FIA Formula E. Speed will miss the FE race in Moscow to complete in Red Bull GRC’s X Games at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, while Piquet will tend to his FE commitments in Moscow and have a replacement in X Games.

As X Games is not part of the Red Bull GRC regular season, this will not impact Piquet’s standing in the championship.

As for his replacement in Austin? Read on to the release below, via SH Rallycross, for more information.

SH Rallycross announced today that Nelson Piquet Jr. will pass the No. 07 HYDROXYCUT – SH Racing Ford Fiesta ST machine to Andreas Bakkerud for the 2015 Austin X GAMES, June 6 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

The move was made because Piquet Jr., who earned a Bronze medal at the 2014 Summer X GAMES, is currently leading, but in a four-way battle for the Formula E crown with just three races remaining in the championship. The one-race hiatus will allow Piquet Jr. to compete in the Formula E event in Moscow, Russia.

“We’ve got an opportunity here to get behind Nelson and help give him the chance to do something special in going after the inaugural Formula E championship,” said James “Sulli” Sullivan, Principal SH Rallycross. “This won’t affect us in the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship standings so that’s what we’re going to do.”

Sulli went on to say, “The decision to bring in Bakkerud was a no brainer for us.  He’s one of the few drivers that knows the new 2015 spec car SH Rallycross is running like the back of his hand and he’s sitting third in the WRX championship.”

Bakkerud, 24 from Bergen, Norway, is one of the top and most experienced Rallycross drivers in the world. He has won the FIA European Rallycross Championship in the Super 1600 category twice (2011 and 2012) and currently competes in the FIA World Rallycross Championship Super Car category where he is third in the championship standings after the first four races.

“I have been in Rallycross my whole career,” said Bakkerud. “This is a big opportunity for me and I am very excited. I know Sulli and the team from spotting for Nelson in Barbados and the X GAMES last year and I am proud to be able to compete with SH Rallycross and am honored to be able to step in for Nelson at the X GAMES.”

Piquet Jr. said, “Rallycross has been in my heart since I’ve drove it for the first time. It’s been a little more than a year since I joined SH Rallycross and we continue to get stronger.  A few months ago I took another challenge, competing in Formula E and right now we have a chance to win the championship. Therefore, I’m not going to be able to take part in the wonderful event, the X GAMES! I’ll be in Moscow thinking about those amazing jumps and all those battles, but I’ll also be trying to win the first ever Formula E championship. Good luck to my boys and I’ll be back for Daytona even stronger.”

SH Rallycross had a break-out first season contending for the RedBull Global Rallycross Championship in its first year in the series with four consecutive podiums including the Bronze at the Summer X GAMES with Piquet Jr. behind the wheel. The team expects to make additional major sponsorship announcements including another Primary sponsor in the coming days.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway can have 10,000 fans for IndyCar races

Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have crowds for its NTT IndyCar Series race weekend next month, the first time fans are allowed at the track this year.

The track announced Friday that up to 10,000 fans will be allowed in the grandstands daily from Oct. 1-4. The IndyCar Harvest GP race doubleheader will be held on the track’s road course Oct. 2-3.

IMS has played host to several events this year without fans, including the 104th Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23 and a NASCAR-IndyCar weekend July 4-5 that included the Brickyard 400. Plans originally were made to have fans at the Indy 500 before reversing course a few weeks ahead of the race. In a letter last month, Roger Penske vowed that fans would return for the 2021 Indy 500.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS president Doug Boles said in a release. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

Fans will undergo temperature screenings upon entry and also be required to wear face coverings at all times on property. The track said each attendee will receive a mask and bottle of hand sanitizer.

The Friday, Oct. 2 race will be shown at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, and NBC will broadcast the Saturday, Oct. 3 race at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Here’s the release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 – For the first time in 2020, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will welcome fans to the Racing Capital of the World for the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR weekend. Up to 10,000 spectators can be in the grandstands each day of racing action Oct. 1-4, per approval from the Marion County Public Health Department.

Tickets are available now via IMS.com and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

The massive facility, which holds more than 300,000 people, will provide two spectator zones with up to 5,000 fans in each. The zones will be located in Turns 1 and 4 of the oval, offering strong sightlines of the road course. Strict health and safety rules will be in place, including the following:

  • Face coverings must be worn throughout the property at all times;
  • All fans will receive temperature screenings before gate entry;
  • Grandstand seats will be marked for distancing;
  • Attendees must use pre-assigned gates and remain in their designated zones.

Global Medical Response, the world leader in compassionate, quality emergency medical and patient relocation services, will be the presenting sponsor of the penultimate weekend of INDYCAR racing this season.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

The plan, which includes each attendee receiving a mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer upon entering the track, was developed in consultation with state and local health officials.

This event weekend is highlighted by an NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader, with races Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3. It will be the penultimate event of the series’ season as the field pursues the champion’s prestigious Astor Challenge Cup to be awarded Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The INDYCAR Harvest GP will pay tribute to a storied IMS event, the Harvest Classic in September 1916. The Harvest Classic was the only racing event held outside of May at IMS from 1911 through 1993. The event featured three races, all won by legendary driver Johnny Aitken.

Fans also will see a host of facility improvements during the event weekend, including more than 30 new LED video boards, refreshed concession stands and restrooms, and 5G wireless connectivity throughout the facility.

The first race will air at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Friday, Oct. 2 on the USA Network. NBC will broadcast the second race at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Oct. 3, with WTHR-13 airing the action live in Central Indiana.

Also racing that weekend will be the first pairing of two major sports car series — the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli and its North American counterpart, GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS. Former Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ryan Briscoe is among the drivers in the Indianapolis 8 Hour event held Sunday, Oct. 4.

The event also will showcase drivers in SRO America’s Pirelli GT4 America, GT Sports Club America and the TC America series.

The full on-track schedule is available at IMS.com.