Matthew Brabham completes first IndyCar test, eyes 2016 Indy 500

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Today, Iowa. Next year, Indianapolis, perhaps?

That’s what Matthew Brabham is hoping for, after completing his first-ever full IndyCar test with Andretti Autosport on Thursday at Iowa Speedway.

Brabham split the test in the AA Dallara-Honda with potential future teammate Marco Andretti.

“I had an absolute blast today,” Brabham told SpeedCafe.com. “I have wanted to drive an IndyCar for so long now and to finally get a chance was awesome.

“Driving an IndyCar … for the first time was definitely different to what I am used to, the speed, power and downforce were a big jump. But it did not take me too long and I was up to speed quickly and started to work through the program the team wanted to do.

“It was great working with Marco and drawing off his experience, a short oval is not the easiest place to drive for the first time in one of these cars. But with his and the teams’ help it all came together pretty quickly for me.”

Brabham hopes to secure a ride for the 100th Indianapolis 500 next May, a race that would hold a lot of personal meaning to the 21-year-old Brabham, as it would mark the 55th anniversary of his late grandfather Sir Jack Brabham’s first racing effort at Indy (finished ninth in 1961).

That would be the first of five appearances by the elder Brabham in the 500, and his best finish.

Sir Jack would win three Formula 1 championships. He passed away May 14, 2014 at the age of 88.

If the younger Brabham makes the 500 field next year, he’d become only the third third-generation driver to achieve such a feat along with the Andrettis and Vukovich families.

The son of Geoff Brabham, the younger Brabham drove full-time for Andretti Autosport on the Indy Lights Series in 2014, winning one race (Indianapolis road course) and finishing fourth for the season.

He has made just three starts in the first 10 events this season before funding ran out, with a seventh (St. Petersburg 1) and two 11th-place-finishes (St. Petersburg 2) and Long Beach.

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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.