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Sepang International Circuit to close for track resurfacing

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The Sepang International Circuit will close for three months next year to allow track resurfacing to take place ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix in October.

For 2016, the circuit’s annual Formula 1 race has been shifted to a fall slot after traditionally being the second round of the season since 2001.

Officials at Sepang have taken the opportunity to close the track and complete some needed redevelopment ahead of the grand prix to ensure it remains up to FIA and FIM standards.

“The last five years have seen an average 98 percent usage of the track’s availability throughout the year, from large international events all the way to private bookings,” CEO Dato Razlan Razali said.

“These events have taken the circuit to a whole new level of recognition, and in tandem with this, it is a must for SIC to continue providing the best experience and top levels of safety for all track users.

“Additionally, our efforts to develop motorsports in Malaysia further underline the need to maintain a top international class circuit in the country. We regret causing disappointment and inconvenience due to the closure of the circuit, and we thank all track users for their understanding.

“Like all facilities and especially circuits, maintenance works is a priority, and the resurfacing and upgrading works is necessary to ensure the continued availability of a track of the highest quality in Malaysia.”

Redevelopment works will take place from Feb. 15 to May 8. The Malaysian Grand Prix is due to take place on Oct. 2, and will be followed by the MotoGP race on Oct. 30.

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.