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Kvyat ends tough home race weekend fifth for Red Bull

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Daniil Kvyat was pleased to end a tough home grand prix weekend in Russia on a positive note by finishing fifth for Red Bull on Sunday.

Kvyat has become the poster boy of the race in Sochi, being just the second Russian driver to race in Formula 1 following Vitaly Petrov’s brief stint in the sport with Renault and Caterham.

The Red Bull driver had hoped to make up for a disappointing first home outing in 2014 this year, but looked resigned to another difficult race after qualifying down in 11th place.

However, a long first stint and a flurry of late retirements allowed Kvyat to make his way up the order, eventually crossing the line in fifth place to pick up ten points for Red Bull on Sunday.

“I think we squeezed everything out of it today and ten points at the end of such a complicated race is a very good achievement, so we have to be satisfied with these points,” Kvyat said.

“With hindsight, you could say we could have run a slightly better strategy, but you can never be completely sure how these things will turn out and you never stop learning in this respect.

“It was nice to see all the people that came here to support me today, it’s a great feeling and hopefully it will continue and get better and better.

“I could also see that other drivers had their fans in the crowd as well which was nice, it’s a true passion and it looks like in Russia the sport is growing a lot and many people are coming which is great to see.

“I’m already looking forward to Austin because I think it should suit us a little bit better and I’m looking forward to those high speed corners.”

In the sister Red Bull car, Daniel Ricciardo had been poised to finish in the top five before a problem on his car forced him to retire from the race with a few laps remaining.

“I’m happy with how I drove but it’s a shame we don’t have any points to show for it,” Ricciardo said. “The risky strategy was working well and we were looking good to earn some decent points.

“We’re not sure what happened, we suspect it’s a suspension issue. I came out of turn four and I felt something was not right and I reported back to the team.

“The team will investigate the issue but I think considering we weren’t expecting too much from this track, we can be pleased that we were racing with the faster cars of Williams and Ferrari and managed to keep them behind us for a good while.”

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.