FIA WEC: No. 17 Porsche wins again at COTA

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AUSTIN, Texas – A Porsche 919 Hybrid won once again in the FIA World Endurance Championship in Saturday’s Six Hours of Circuit of The Americas, albeit not in the way or manner as was expected.

The No. 17 car of Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard capitalized on the demise of the sister No. 18 car of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb. The No. 18 car was well positioned for its elusive first victory of the season, but went into the garage in the final hour with an unspecified mechanical issue.

For the No. 17 car, the win for that trio is their second in a row, and came as a rebound from two pit issues during the race.

One of Webber’s stops saw the Australian overshoot his pit box, and need to get pushed back into his stall.

That paled in comparison to a one-minute stop-and-go penalty assessed in the fourth hour, reportedly for two many crewmembers working on the car, which had dropped the No. 17 car behind the No. 18 car in the first place.

The No. 18 Porsche’s demise promoted both Audi R18 e-tron quattros to second and third in class, with the No. 7 Audi of Benoit Treluyer, Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler ahead of the sister No. 8 Audi of Loic Duval, Lucas Di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis.

LMP2 was a seesaw battle between G-Drive Racing and KCMG, and G-Drive emerged victorious with the No. 26 Ligier JS P2 Nissan of Sam Bird, Roman Rusinov and Julien Canal. Rusinov, in particular, starred during his stints.

GTE-Pro saw Porsche Team Manthey dominate for the second straight race. A fifth hour change on a pit stop sequence saw the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR of Michael Christensen and Richard Lietz win again from the team car, the No. 92 driven by Patrick Pilet and Fred Makowiecki.

AF Corse’s No. 71 Ferrari F458 Italia of James Calado and Davide Rigon completed the podium, ahead of three Aston Martin Vantage V8s and the sister AF Corse Ferrari, which had its left side door come loose and thus fall off course.

GTE-Am witnessed a more eventful race, with SMP Racing winning for the third time in a row with the trio of Andrea Bertolini, Victor Shaytar and Alexey Basov in the No. 72 Ferrari F458 Italia.

Bertolini and Shaytar closed down on prior class leaders AF Corse (No. 83 car) and Dempsey-Proton Racing (No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR) in the final two hours, ultimately ending ahead.

Earl Bamber drove a storming final stint to take the No. 88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR up to second (shared with Khalid Al Qubaisi and Christian Ried), while the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari of Rui Aguas, Emmanuel Collard and Francois Perrodo finished third.

Perrodo’s stint was critical to that car getting a podium over the Dempsey car, which was shared by Patrick Dempsey, Patrick Long and Marco Seefried, and led most of the first four hours.

Winner Josef Newgarden earns $3.666 million from a record Indy 500 purse of $17 million


INDIANAPOLIS — The first Indy 500 victory for Josef Newgarden also was the richest in race history from a record 2023 purse of just more than $17 million.

The two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion, who continued his celebration Monday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earned $3.666 million for winning the 107th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

The purse and winner’s share both are the largest in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

It’s the second consecutive year that the Indy 500 purse set a record after the 2022 Indy 500 became the first to crack the $16 million mark (nearly doubling the 2021 purse that offered a purse of $8,854,565 after a crowd limited to 135,000 because of the COVID-19 pandemic).

The average payout for IndyCar drivers was $500,600 (exceeding last year’s average of $485,000).

Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Roger Penske, whose team also fields Newgarden’s No. 2 Dallara-Chevrolet, had made raising purses a priority since buying the track in 2020. But Penske but was unable to post big money purses until the race returned to full capacity grandstands last year.

The largest Indy 500 purse before this year was $14.4 million for the 2008 Indy 500 won by Scott Dixon (whose share was $2,988,065). Ericsson’s haul made him the second Indy 500 winner to top $3 million (2009 winner Helio Castroneves won $3,048,005.

Runner-up Marcus Ericsson won $1.043 million after falling short by 0.0974 seconds in the fourth-closest finish in Indy 500 history.

The 107th Indy 500 drew a crowd of at least 330,000 that was the largest since the sellout for the 100th running in 2016, and the second-largest in more than two decades, according to track officials.

“This is the greatest race in the world, and it was an especially monumental Month of May featuring packed grandstands and intense on-track action,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “Now, we have the best end card possible for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500: a record-breaking purse for the history books.”

Benjamin Pedersen was named the Indy 500 rookie of the year, earning a $50,000 bonus.

The race’s purse is determined through contingency and special awards from IMS and IndyCar. The awards were presented Monday night in the annual Indy 500 Victory Celebration at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

The payouts for the 107th Indy 500:

1. Josef Newgarden, $3,666,000
2. Marcus Ericsson, $1,043,000
3. Santino Ferrucci, $481,800
4. Alex Palou, $801,500
5. Alexander Rossi, $574,000
6. Scott Dixon, $582,000
7. Takuma Sato, $217,300
8. Conor Daly, $512,000
9. Colton Herta, $506,500
10. Rinus VeeKay, $556,500
11. Ryan Hunter‐Reay, $145,500
12. Callum Ilott, $495,500
13. Devlin DeFrancesco, $482,000
14. Scott McLaughlin, $485,000
15. Helio Castroneves, $481,500
16. Tony Kanaan, $105,000
17. Marco Andretti, $102,000
18. Jack Harvey, $472,000
19. Christian Lundgaard, $467,500
20. Ed Carpenter, $102,000
21. Benjamin Pedersen (R), $215,300
22. Graham Rahal, $565,500*
23. Will Power, $488,000
24. Pato O’Ward, $516,500
25. Simon Pagenaud, $465,500
26. Agustín Canapino (R), $156,300
27. Felix Rosenqvist, $278,300
28. Kyle Kirkwood, $465,500
29. David Malukas, $462,000
30. Romain Grosjean, $462,000
31. Sting Ray Robb (R), $463,000
32. RC Enerson (R), $103,000
33.  Katherine Legge, $102,000

*–Broken down between two teams, $460,000 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, $105,500 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports