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Grosjean, Gutierrez have discussed NASCAR try-out with Gene Haas

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Formula 1 drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez are both keen to try out a Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR in the future, having both discussed doing so with team boss Gene Haas.

Stewart-Haas Racing team co-owner Gene Haas saw his new F1 operation get off to a flying start in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix as Grosjean charged from 19th on the grid to finish sixth.

Not only did Haas F1 Team become the first to race in a grand prix under the American flag in 30 years, but it also was the first start-up project to score points on debut since Toyota in 2002.

However, both Grosjean and Gutierrez are looking to take full advantage of being part of the Haas family and try their hand in a SHR NASCAR in the future.

“No worries, I’m happy to do that! Yeah, it would be fun,” Grosjean told NBC Sports.

When asked if talks had taken place with Haas about a NASCAR try-out, Grosjean said: “Yes! Yes!

“I don’t know [when], whenever we can, but it would be brilliant. I’ve sat in one of their cars when I went to the workshop in Kannapolis. It looks big. But it would be amazing.

“I think they did it a few years ago [Kurt Busch racing in the 2014 Indianapolis 500] and it would be nice to do it again. It would be a cross-interest between two racing categories.”

Gutierrez also expressed an interest in trying out a NASCAR in the future, before saying that he too had spoken to Haas about doing so.

“It would be very interesting to do as an activity and to try the car, imagine the difference,” Gutierrez said to NBC Sports.

“From time to time we do [discuss it],” he added.

Gutierrez also believes that some of the experience Haas will bring from NASCAR to F1 could aid others in the series to open up to new approaches, particularly when it comes to commincations and team management.

“Technically, it’s very different to NASCAR. You cannot compare it,” Gutierrez said. “The approach that they have in terms of the business model of the team is very good, to make a team out of nothing.

“Communication-wise, it is very different in the approach and experience they bring from NASCAR. The knowledge that they bring from NASCAR will help to change a bit the approach of many teams that they have here in Europe.

“So it can only be good for Formula 1.”

Indianapolis Motor Speedway can have 10,000 fans for IndyCar races

Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have crowds for its NTT IndyCar Series race weekend next month, the first time fans are allowed at the track this year.

The track announced Friday that up to 10,000 fans will be allowed in the grandstands daily from Oct. 1-4. The IndyCar Harvest GP race doubleheader will be held on the track’s road course Oct. 2-3.

IMS has played host to several events this year without fans, including the 104th Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23 and a NASCAR-IndyCar weekend July 4-5 that included the Brickyard 400. Plans originally were made to have fans at the Indy 500 before reversing course a few weeks ahead of the race. In a letter last month, Roger Penske vowed that fans would return for the 2021 Indy 500.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS president Doug Boles said in a release. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

Fans will undergo temperature screenings upon entry and also be required to wear face coverings at all times on property. The track said each attendee will receive a mask and bottle of hand sanitizer.

The Friday, Oct. 2 race will be shown at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, and NBC will broadcast the Saturday, Oct. 3 race at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Here’s the release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 – For the first time in 2020, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will welcome fans to the Racing Capital of the World for the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR weekend. Up to 10,000 spectators can be in the grandstands each day of racing action Oct. 1-4, per approval from the Marion County Public Health Department.

Tickets are available now via IMS.com and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

The massive facility, which holds more than 300,000 people, will provide two spectator zones with up to 5,000 fans in each. The zones will be located in Turns 1 and 4 of the oval, offering strong sightlines of the road course. Strict health and safety rules will be in place, including the following:

  • Face coverings must be worn throughout the property at all times;
  • All fans will receive temperature screenings before gate entry;
  • Grandstand seats will be marked for distancing;
  • Attendees must use pre-assigned gates and remain in their designated zones.

Global Medical Response, the world leader in compassionate, quality emergency medical and patient relocation services, will be the presenting sponsor of the penultimate weekend of INDYCAR racing this season.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

The plan, which includes each attendee receiving a mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer upon entering the track, was developed in consultation with state and local health officials.

This event weekend is highlighted by an NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader, with races Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3. It will be the penultimate event of the series’ season as the field pursues the champion’s prestigious Astor Challenge Cup to be awarded Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The INDYCAR Harvest GP will pay tribute to a storied IMS event, the Harvest Classic in September 1916. The Harvest Classic was the only racing event held outside of May at IMS from 1911 through 1993. The event featured three races, all won by legendary driver Johnny Aitken.

Fans also will see a host of facility improvements during the event weekend, including more than 30 new LED video boards, refreshed concession stands and restrooms, and 5G wireless connectivity throughout the facility.

The first race will air at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Friday, Oct. 2 on the USA Network. NBC will broadcast the second race at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Oct. 3, with WTHR-13 airing the action live in Central Indiana.

Also racing that weekend will be the first pairing of two major sports car series — the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli and its North American counterpart, GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS. Former Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ryan Briscoe is among the drivers in the Indianapolis 8 Hour event held Sunday, Oct. 4.

The event also will showcase drivers in SRO America’s Pirelli GT4 America, GT Sports Club America and the TC America series.

The full on-track schedule is available at IMS.com.