Photo: Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin reveals new car, partners, FIA WEC lineup

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Aston Martin Racing has taken the covers off its 2016 challenger for the FIA World Endurance Championship, the updated Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE, at its 2016 program launch in Gaydon.

New regulations mean a much bigger new rear diffuser, with additional freedom on aero development.

The team also has confirmed a switch from Michelin to Dunlop tires, which opens a tire battle up in GTE-Pro, and is something that’s welcomed for both manufacturers.

“The 2016 V8 Vantage GTE is a greatly improved package all-round and I’m extremely pleased that Dunlop have joined us as the team’s official tire supplier to complete it,” said Dan Sayers, technical director of Aston Martin Racing.

“The team is thoroughly confident heading into this season and I firmly believe that the Dunlop Sport Maxx is the perfect tire to help us achieve the results we desire. We look forward to working closely with the Dunlop team throughout the 2016 FIA WEC season and also at the Nürburgring 24hrs, where we’ll be competing with the V12 Vantage GT3.”

TOTAL and IQ-Option also join as new partners for what’s the newly reliveried “Stirling Green” colors.

“We’re pleased to welcome our new sponsors and technical collaborators to the Aston Martin fold,” said John Gaw, managing director of Aston Martin Racing. “With an extremely competitive World Endurance Championship ahead of us, I’m confident we have our strongest driver line-up to date and we can expect plenty of success throughout the season.”

Darren Turner shifts to the team’s No. 95 car in GTE-Pro, alongside Danes Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorenson. Fernando Rees joins Richie Stanaway and Jonny Adam in the No. 97 car.

“This will undoubtedly be a different year to the past three WEC seasons that I’ve been involved in, but I’m very much looking forward to partnering with Nicki and Marco in the No. 95,” Turner said. “Testing has gone very well during the winter months and I think we’ll be in with a strong chance by the time Le Mans comes around in June.”

Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda will be in the team’s single GTE-Am entry, the No. 98 car.

The WEC season begins with the Prologue test at the end of March, and the first race is in Silverstone on April 17.

IndyCar race weekend doubleheader schedule at IMS road course

IndyCar weekend schedule Indianapolis
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The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.

The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.

The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.

ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend

The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.

A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.

Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:

(All times are Eastern)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1

Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2

10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3

10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout

IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4

10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race