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Maldonado upbeat ahead of US GP in Austin

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Pastor Maldonado believes that next weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas presents a good opportunity for Lotus to score some more valuable points.

Lotus currently ranks sixth in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship, trailing Force India by 26 points with four races remaining in the 2015 season.

P5 in the constructors’ championship would not only give Lotus more prize money, but it would also secure itself a place on the F1 Strategy Group for 2016 and give itself increased power in the sport.

Maldonado arrives in Austin off the back of a seventh-place finish in Russia, and believes that the Circuit of The Americas should suit the Lotus E23 Hybrid car.

“I think Austin offers us a good opportunity,” Maldonado said. “The circuit shouldn’t pose any particular problems as long as we can get the tyres working as we want. The E23 is a car that generally works well so we have a good baseline to start with.

“At this point of the year we’re pretty on top of things like set-up and getting the most out of the car so it’s a case of getting the laps and simulations done in practice, qualifying as well as possible then targeting points in the race.”

The United States Grand Prix proved to be the highlight of Maldonado’s 2014 campaign, giving him hope that another strong result can follow next weekend.

“Everything went relatively well for us last year in Austin when you compare the performance to the season we’d been having,” Maldonado said. “There’s no reason to say we can’t have a great weekend this year.

“At every race we’re looking to maximize the package we have; we always look to be as fast as possible in qualifying and finish the race as strongly as possible. I like the Circuit of the Americas, the E23 is a good racing car and I’m confident we’ll do the best job we can.”

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.