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100th Indianapolis 500 entry list revealed

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The formal entry list for the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil has been released with no surprises for the expected full field of 33 cars.

The breakdown of cars is 17 Honda primary cars and aero kits with 16 Chevrolet primary cars and aero kits. Backup cars (T-cars) aren’t listed as in past years.

Buddy Lazier’s team, which was the only team that hadn’t done a formal unveil of its program, has been confirmed with a number switch to the No. 4 and a renaming of the team to Lazier Burns Racing, with additional investment coming from past team owner Tom Burns.

Conor Daly’s usual No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda will have a new primary sponsor to be revealed soon, with the Jonathan Byrd’s colors and signage moving to his Dale Coyne Racing teammate, Bryan Clauson, for the month of May on his No. 88 Honda. Clauson’s car is entered as the No. 88 Cancer Treatment Centers of America Honda.

A Grace Autosport entry is not present despite its announcing its intentions last May, which leaves Katherine Legge in the unfortunate position outside a ride for the third straight year.

All told, there are six past winners in the field:

  • 2-Juan Pablo Montoya, 2000 and 2015
  • 3-Helio Castroneves, 2001, 2002 and 2009
  • 4-Buddy Lazier, 1996
  • 9-Scott Dixon, 2008
  • 10-Tony Kanaan, 2013
  • 28-Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2014

There are also five rookies in the field, all of whom competed at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis this weekend. Although Daly is a series rookie owing to the few number of starts he had before this season, he has two past Indianapolis 500 starts (2013, 2015)

  • 8-Max Chilton
  • 16-Spencer Pigot
  • 25-Stefan Wilson
  • 61-Matthew Brabham
  • 98-Alexander Rossi

Lazier, at 48, is the oldest driver entered with Sage Karam, still only 21 but set for his third 500, the youngest.

The full entry list is linked here.

Practice begins today with rookie orientation program and refresher runs from 12 to 2 p.m., with all cars able to go on track from 2 to 6 p.m.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans

LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.