Conor Daly’s full-season confirmation with Dale Coyne Racing wasn’t the only news Friday for the underdog, veteran team in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Bryan Clauson will attempt to qualify for his third Indianapolis 500 with his third different team. Clauson, who will again run with Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, has now partnered with Coyne for at least the team’s third car at the Indianapolis 500, what will be the No. 88 Honda.
Both announcements were made during the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis.
Clauson drove with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing in 2012, and the Byrd partnership was with KV Racing Technology last year; KVRT has now partnered with PIRTEK Team Murray for an extra entry in 2016, to run rookie Matthew Brabham.
Coyne’s second full-season seat is TBA and Motorsport.com’s David Malsher noted it was “very likely” that Coyne team veteran and four-time Indianapolis 500 starter Pippa Mann will also be set to run with Coyne at the race once more, in what could be a fourth car.
Overshadowed by a horrific crash involving Sophia Floersch was the fact that 19-year-old Dan Ticktum dominated and won the Macau Grand Prix – a victory that puts him closer to earning the superlicence required to allow him to race with Formula 1, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Ticktum won Macau’s qualification race as well as the Grand Prix, starting first in both events. For his victories, he earned 10 points, which combined with 25 for his runner-up finish in the European F3 Championship leaves him just five below the 40 needed for the license.
This was Ticktum’s second Macau Grand Prix victory.
“It was a dominant performance that I was preparing for,” Ticktum said on his web site. “I don’t think I’ve ever prepared as hard as I did for this race and it all worked out. In the final race a lot of variables were thrown at me but I handled them.”
On his way to victory lane, Ticktum had to survive several restarts including the lengthy red flag period following Floersch’s accident to repair the barrier.
“I can’t count how many safety car restarts we had to do,” Ticktum said. “It puts a lot of pressure on a driver here with such a long run down to the first corner. I can’t remember a weekend when I’ve put it all together so well.
“The car was absolutely perfect all weekend, it was so good and I can’t thank Motopark enough for that. I’ve never been so involved in the set-up, felt so at one with the car as I did this weekend.”