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Team Aguri gets Gulf sponsorship, new livery for Mexico City ePrix

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Team Aguri will race with a new livery in this weekend’s Mexico City ePrix after announcing a sponsorship agreement with historic motorsport brand Gulf.

Gulf has become the team’s new title sponsor, marking the brand’s first involvement in electric motorsport and the arrival of its famous powder blue and orange livery to Formula E.

“Gulf has a long history of success in motorsport, and, through IF Vertical 2’s exciting initiative in Mexico we are delighted to see Gulf make its debut in FIA Formula E with Team Aguri to continue our heritage of racing excellence,” said Frank Rutten, vice-president of Gulf International.

“Our participation in this event maintains Gulf’s long history of being at the forefront of innovation in all aspects of our business. The move reflects the changing focus of the automotive industry, with manufacturers increasingly focusing on the development of electric and hybrid vehicles.

“These new vehicles will require new lubricant solutions to ensure they run at optimum efficiency and to support the evolving technologies that will provide increased range, faster charging and greater durability. The Gulf brand’s involvement in Formula E will put us at the forefront of these developments.”

Drivers Salvador Duran and Antonio Felix da Costa will both race with the new livery for the first time this weekend at the Mexico City ePrix, taking place on March 12 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

An IndyCar iRacing Challenge at Talladega? Drivers have discussed it

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If Dale Earnhardt Jr. is interested in an IndyCar iRacing event on an oval, he might like the latest idea being kicked around by NTT Series drivers.

“I personally would want to run at Talladega, but I don’t think that’s an option,” Arrow McLaren SP driver rookie Oliver Askew told NBCSports.com in a Friday interview about his simulation work for the second round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge. “IndyCar drivers have a group chat with iRacing, and someone had the idea of running at Talladega, and I thought it was brilliant.”

It actually would be a throwback of sorts as a USAC-sanctioned race with Indy cars at Talladega nearly happened 40 years ago.

The IndyCar iRacing Challenge will be running its second consecutive road course Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park (2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN or streaming here).

Of the four remaining races in the six-race series, there’s a chance that three of them could be ovals: A Drivers’ Choice track April 11; a “Random Draw” April 18 and a non-IndyCar “Dream” track May 2 (the April 25 race will be at Circuit of the Americas).

ENTRY LIST: Who will be racing at Barber

SPOTTER GUIDE: All 29 of this weekend’s paint schemes

IndyCar drivers are voting on next week’s track, and the options include high-speed ovals such as Texas Motor Speedway and Michigan Speedway.

A multicar crash at Talladega last October. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Talladega apparently isn’t on the list for next week, but surely it could be considered for a future race if it meant having Earnhardt in the field. The 15-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver is a six-time winner at Talladega, and the NASCAR on NBC analyst’s family is synonymous with the 2.66-mile oval where his late seven-time champion father won a record 10 times.

“I hope he can make that happen,” Askew said of racing against Earnhardt. “I hope IndyCar can grant his wish on that.”

The addition of Earnhardt would fit well with an IndyCar iRacing Challenge that already features champions from NASCAR (Jimmie Johnson) and Supercars (Scott McLaughlin).

Will Power would like to see more of that.

“I think that would be great if we can get big-name drivers from other series,” Power said. “Getting a couple guys from Europe would be cool.”