GPDA: Bianchi’s death a brutal reminder of how dangerous racing remains

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The Grand Prix Drivers Association has paid tribute to Jules Bianchi following his death on Friday at the age of 25.

Bianchi’s family confirmed in the early hours of Saturday morning that he had passed away following a nine-month fight against a diffuse axonal injury sustained in an accident at the Japanese Grand Prix in October 2014.

Tributes have since poured in for the French driver, who will be best remembered for scoring the only points in Marussia F1 Team’s history at the Monaco Grand Prix with a performance that ultimately saved the team.

The GPDA operates as a union for the drivers in F1, giving them a voice and involvement in the future of the sport.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the GPDA offered its support to Bianchi’s family, but also said how his death acted as a stark reminder of the risks involved with grand prix racing.

“Formula 1 has lost a great talent, a great man and a great friend today,” the GPDA said.

“Twenty-one years after the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, we have now lost Jules, who has died as a direct consequence of an on track accident.

“It is at times like this that we are brutally reminded of how dangerous racing still remains.

“Despite considerable improvements, we, the Grand Prix drivers, owe it to the racing community, to the lost ones and to Jules, his family and friends, to never relent in improving safety.

“Our sincerest condolences go out to Jules’ family and friends.”

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold