Injured Lorenzo withdraws from Race of Champions

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LONDON – Jorge Lorenzo has withdrawn from this weekend’s Race of Champions in London due to injury.

Two weeks on from winning his third MotoGP world title at Valencia, Lorenzo had been due to take part in the multi-discipline challenge that pits racers from a variety of different series up against each other in an array of cars.

However, it was confirmed on Thursday that Lorenzo would be taking no part in the Race of Champions as planned after sustaining a burn on his leg.

“I’m really sad that I cannot go to the Race Of Champions this year but during the celebrations in Mallorca I burned my leg on the bike,” Lorenzo said.

“I really hoped it would heal by now but due to potential complications from sweating inside the overalls, the doctors have forbidden me to do it. I know I would have had great fans supporting me in London so I’m sorry to be missing it.

“This is a great event and I hope you all enjoy watching all the action. Now I will try as hard as possible to be back at the Race Of Champions next year instead.”

Lorenzo will be replaced by six-time Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy, who has embarked on a career in motor racing since retiring from competitive cycling in 2013.

Hoy had been due to take part in the celebrity race at London’s former Olympic Stadium, but will now step up to partner Romain Grosjean for Team All-Stars in the ROC Nations Cup on Friday.

“I’m really excited to get this late call-up,” Hoy said. “I don’t expect to be as fast as the real professionals but I’ll do my very best.

“Of course I’m sorry to hear about Jorge’s injury too but this is a wonderful opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it. Now I’ll try to put on a show for the fans in the stadium in London tomorrow.”

Lorenzo’s place in the individual Race of Champions event on Saturday has been taken by British racing driver Bradley Philpot, winner of the ROC Factor competition.

Philpot was one of two drivers to be invited to take part in a shoot-out at the Olympic Stadium on Thursday, and was selected by the judges to take part in the Race of Champions after edging out Ireland’s Des Foley on track.

“It’s completely out of the blue, something starting very small as a Twitter competition which you’ve got hardly any chance to win, and then suddenly we’re here and this is actually happening,” Philpot told MotorSportsTalk. “Crazy, but I’m happy.”

The Race of Champions kicks off with the Nations Cup in London on Friday night.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.