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Stefano Coletti returns to Europe with SMP ELMS program

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Stefano Coletti was one of two full-time rookies in the Verizon IndyCar Series last season but endured a tough season with KV Racing Technology.

He finished 19th in points with only one top-10 finish all season, although he did provide some early season excitement with some strong passing moves at St. Petersburg and NOLA Motorsports Park.

Coletti, the Monegasque driver who’d come to IndyCar from GP2, never really seemed in the picture for a return and so he’ll be back in Europe this year with SMP Racing (nee Courage) in the European Le Mans Series, in one of its BR01 Nissan chassis.

Coletti will share the No. 32 car with fellow ex-GP2 driver Julian Leal and former Atlantic and Champ Car driver Andreas Wirth. The German’s expanded into sports cars in recent years racing Corvettes and was scheduled to drive the DeltaWing at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, before the car’s early race accident.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.