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Stefano Domenicali named new Lamborghini President/CEO

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Ferrari and Lamborghini are easily two of the most prestigious Italian manufacturers, and Stefano Domenicali can now say he’s been in leadership roles for both brands.

Domenicali will move from Audi to sister VAG brand Lamborghini, named as new President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini to start March 15.

He’ll replace Stephan Winkelmann, who will move the other way, as CEO of sports Audi affiliate quattro GmbH.

“Over the past eleven years Stephan Winkelmann has transformed Lamborghini into a global leader in the manufacture of super sports cars. His successor, who also possesses a wealth of experience in this area, will be continuing this success,” said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board Management of AUDI AG and Chairman of the Administrative Board of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., in a release.

Domenicali had been with Ferrari for more than 20 years from 1991 through 2014, before resigning as Scuderia Ferrari team principal in April.

Later that year, he was named Vice President of New Business Initiatives for Audi. He also maintains a role with the FIA, as head of its Single Seater Commission. He was present at Circuit of The Americas in Austin last September to witness the launch of the new chassis for the U.S. Formula 4 Championship, sanctioned by SCCA.

Domenicali succeeds Winkelmann, whose accolades with Lamborghini included spearheading the company’s motorsports initiatives. The single-make Lamborghini Super Trofeo series exist in North America, Europe and Asia and the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 has been a popular choice for customer teams in North American and European sports car series the last year or so.

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.