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Buemi tops opening day of collective Formula E testing

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Defending FIA Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi sent out an early warning shot to his title rivals by comfortably topping the opening day of collective testing at Donington Park.

Teams were afforded six hours of running on Tuesday following the conclusion of private testing, allowing them to gauge the pace of their rivals and run through any processes and procedures ahead of the new season.

Jerome d’Ambrosio led the morning session for Dragon, but times tumbled in the afternoon as 10 drivers went quicker than the fastest time from this point in testing last year.

Sam Bird led for DS Virgin Racing with 30 minutes to go, only for season two title rivals Buemi and Lucas di Grassi to head out for a final run.

Di Grassi edged out Bird to take P1 away, but spent mere moments at the helm of the timesheets as Buemi went eight-tenths of a second faster to take top spot.

“Today was a very good day. It’s only the first day of testing so we can’t draw a lot of conclusions, but it’s clear it’s better to be ahead than behind!” Buemi said.

“We checked the developments we have made to the car over last year and our time – practically a new lap record – shows we are quicker than last year. It’s a good start so we will see how it continues tomorrow.”

The day was filled with brief stoppages, but most of the teams were able to conduct some significant running. After a nightmare in 2015, Andretti had few problems as Antonio Felix da Costa enjoyed his first public run for the team.

Tuesday also marked the first public run for the new Jaguar Formula E team, which is making its first foray into top-line international motorsport since the conclusion of its ill-fated Formula 1 project that ended in 2004.

Jaguar is yet to make a final call on its line-up for the coming season, with running being shared by Alex Lynn and Adam Carroll on Tuesday. Mitch Evans and Harry Tincknell are set for outings later this week alongside Carroll.

Nick Heidfeld enjoyed a late charge for Mahindra to finish second ahead of di Grassi and Bird, with d’Ambrosio’s late lap lifting him to P5. Lynn was the leading Jaguar driver in sixth, 1.2 seconds off Buemi, while recent Indy Lights driver Felix Rosenqvist was P7 in his first public Formula E test.

Daniel Abt finished eighth ahead of Carroll and Jose Maria Lopez, the latter making his public debut for DS Virgin Racing. Maro Engel also made his first appearance for Venturi, finishing at the foot of the timesheets.

Testing continues at Donington Park on Wednesday with another six hours of running.

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.