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Jari-Matti Latvala picks up first WRC victory of 2016 in Mexico

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Jari-Matti Latvala opened his race win account for the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship season last week in Mexico by comfortably defeating defending champion and Volkswagen teammate Sebastien Ogier.

After failing to score in either of the opening two rounds in Monte Carlo or Sweden, Latvala arrived in Mexico with a point to prove, and did so in emphatic fashion over the three days in Guanajuato.

The Finn laid the groundwork for his victory over the first two days of running, benefitting from his low starting position that saw others clear the gravel course ahead of him.

Latvala enjoyed a lead of over 90 seconds heading into the final day of running that featured an 80km stage, the longest in the WRC for 30 years.

Although Ogier was able to cut the gap by 25 seconds, Latvala finished second to ensure that he remained at the top of the overall standings before eventually finishing with an advantage of just over a minute.

“This is a fightback and it’s a fantastic feeling,” Latvala said. “I had such a difficult start to the season with two rallies and zero points. My mind wasn’t so good and this hasn’t been a strong rally for me in the past, but I drove with no problems.”

Ogier completed a one-two for Volkswagen by finishing second, while Mads Østberg completed the podium after Dani Sordo was hit with a penalty, dropping him to fourth overall.

Following the third round of the season, Ogier continues to lead at the top of the drivers’ championship by 35 points ahead of Østberg, while Andreas Mikkelsen dropped to third after retiring due to an accident.

The next WRC round takes place in Argentina from April 22-24.

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