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Sean Rayhall makes Indy Lights return with Pelfrey in Monterey

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Sean Rayhall won twice in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires last year and also made the podium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca; he’ll have an opportunity to repeat the Mazda Raceway feat this weekend.

The talented 21-year-old Georgia native will step back into the second Team Pelfrey Dallara IL-15 Mazda, essentially with the same team and personnel he worked with last year when it was 8Star Motorsports. This was also a track where Rayhall starred in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2014, in an 8Star Prototype Challenge class car.

Rayhall adds an Indy Lights car to his diverse range of machinery he’s driven this year, which has also included the DeltaWing prototype, a Starworks Motorsport PC car, a Graff Ligier JS P3 LMP3 car in Europe and, most outside the box, a 360 winged sprint at Plymouth Speedway outside of Road America.

“I am extremely excited to return to Indy Lights this time with Team Pelfrey IL even though it’s the same group of guys,” Rayhall said.

“It’s been a busy year for me and I am blessed to add this [Indy] Lights weekend to the schedule. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has always been a great place for me as a driver and I hope to deliver a good result for Dale [Pelfrey] and the rest of the team.”

Team manager Gary Neal expanded on the team running two cars for the first time since Toronto, the last weekend for Juan Piedrahita then alongside Garett Grist. Grist continues once again but has run as a solo act at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Watkins Glen International.

“We are excited to work with Sean again as we have had two seasons together at 8Star Motorsports and with the help of our engineer, Yves Touron we achieved several wins and many podium finishes,” Neal said. “It will be very beneficial having two cars and being able to compare notes from both drivers and to find good setup for the final two races.”

Three in position to capture World Rally Championship title at Rally Australia

Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Defending champion Sebastien Ogier goes into this weekend’s Rally Australia with a chance to clinch his sixth World Rally Championship in a row. Thierry Neuville, a runner-up four times but never a champion, hopes to change the world order.

Neuville led the series for much of the season but Ogier’s win in Britain and a second place in Spain has given the Frenchman 204 points, three ahead of Neuville, heading into the final rally of the championship.

“We are not the best friends but we are rivals and respect each other for our performances,” Neuville said Wednesday. “I’ve been second many times in the championship now, we are so close to the main goal.”

“If we need to take more risks because we need to pass Sebastien we’re going to try,” the Belgian driver added, “we’ll take the maximum risks.”

Ogier says the feeling is mutual when it comes to his main rival.

“We are different, definitely, but most important we’re in a great fight together and respect each other for that,” Ogier said. “It’s about trying to beat each other and do it with respect.”

Ott Tanak of Estonia sits 23 points behind and with 30 points for a win in Australia, and other results going his way, he could also capture the world title.

Ogier will be hoping for some Friday morning rain to settle the dust and gravel before he sets off first on what will be more than 300 kilometers (180 miles) of timed racing through forests on the New South Wales state’s north coast, about 530 kilometers (325 miles) north of Sydney.

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