Josef Newgarden fastest in final IndyCar practice session at Sonoma

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Josef Newgarden was quickest in the final Verizon IndyCar Series practice session for this afternoon’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway.

Newgarden had a field-best elapsed time of 1:17.6431 and speed of 110.583 mph.

Scott Dixon, whose reign as 2015 series champion comes to an end today, made a strong run in the closing minutes to record the second-best effort (1:17.6600 at 110.559), followed by Takuma Sato (1:18.1803 at 109.823), Charlie Kimball (1:18.1921 at 109.806) and Alexander Rossi (1:18.2923 at 109.666).

Pole-sitter Simon Pagenaud (1:18.8396 at 108.905) and sole championship challenger Will Power (1:19.0236 at 108.651) were 18th and 20th quickest, but there are no worries there.

They were simply shaking their cars down in preparation for this afternoon’s race, which begins at 6:50 p.m. ET/3:50 p.m. PT. The race will be televised live on NBCSN, which begins with pre-race coverage at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

Marco Andretti, who was quickest and fastest in Saturday’s third practice, was 13th in Sunday’s final session (1:18.6141 at 109.217 mph)

Conor Daly was slowest of the 22 drivers on-track (1:19.0374 at 108.632).

Here’s how the final practice session played out:

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NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.