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RC Enerson set for Rolex 24 debut with PR1/Mathiasen

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One of the drivers who made a big impact in a handful of Verizon IndyCar Series races last year will now make his sports car debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Bobby Oergel’s PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports has added a potential star-in-waiting in RC Enerson to its lineup, as the 19-year-old Floridian will join that team alongside the capable trio of Tom Kimber-Smith, Jose Gutierrez and Mike Guasch.

PR1/Mathiasen steps up to Prototype with the No. 52 Ligier JS P217 Gibson after a successful run in Prototype Challenge for the entirety of that class’ history, from 2010 through 2016. The team won the 2015 Rolex 24 with “TKS,” Guasch, Andrew Palmer and Andrew Novich in PC.

Enerson, who was seriously considered for multiple IndyCar drives, remains focused on eventually that grid full-time. However, the chance to debut at the Rolex 24 gives him a shot to wow the sports car world, as others such as Pipo Derani or Max Papis have before.

“We’re pleased to add RC to the line-up for the Rolex 24. I was able to meet him at Sebring a few weeks ago, and I think he’s going to be a great addition to the team,” said team owner Bobby Oergel.

“I’m very excited to join PR1 for the Rolex 24. Before this opportunity, I was primarily focused on the open wheel side of racing and making my way to the IndyCar Series. I’m still working on other IndyCar prospects for the 2017 season, but wanted to find a home where I could continue to race now. My driver coach was able to put me in contact with Bobby [Oergel]. We met in Sebring a few weeks ago during a test, and we decided PR1 would be a great fit. Now we’re excited to see what we can do on the sports car side of things at Daytona,” explained Enerson.

“I’m definitely looking forward to turning my first laps in the P2 car and especially at Daytona. I mean who wouldn’t want to drive in the Rolex 24? It’s an incredible opportunity, and I’m ready to meet everyone at the Roar and see what we can do.”

This trio brings the number of drivers who competed in IndyCar in 2016 and are running at the 2017 Rolex 24 up to at least nine. Others include Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sebastien Bourdais, Jack Hawksworth, Townsend Bell and Sage Karam, with potentially more to come.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway can have 10,000 fans for IndyCar races

Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have crowds for its NTT IndyCar Series race weekend next month, the first time fans are allowed at the track this year.

The track announced Friday that up to 10,000 fans will be allowed in the grandstands daily from Oct. 1-4. The IndyCar Harvest GP race doubleheader will be held on the track’s road course Oct. 2-3.

IMS has played host to several events this year without fans, including the 104th Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23 and a NASCAR-IndyCar weekend July 4-5 that included the Brickyard 400. Plans originally were made to have fans at the Indy 500 before reversing course a few weeks ahead of the race. In a letter last month, Roger Penske vowed that fans would return for the 2021 Indy 500.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS president Doug Boles said in a release. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

Fans will undergo temperature screenings upon entry and also be required to wear face coverings at all times on property. The track said each attendee will receive a mask and bottle of hand sanitizer.

The Friday, Oct. 2 race will be shown at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, and NBC will broadcast the Saturday, Oct. 3 race at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Here’s the release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 – For the first time in 2020, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will welcome fans to the Racing Capital of the World for the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR weekend. Up to 10,000 spectators can be in the grandstands each day of racing action Oct. 1-4, per approval from the Marion County Public Health Department.

Tickets are available now via IMS.com and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

The massive facility, which holds more than 300,000 people, will provide two spectator zones with up to 5,000 fans in each. The zones will be located in Turns 1 and 4 of the oval, offering strong sightlines of the road course. Strict health and safety rules will be in place, including the following:

  • Face coverings must be worn throughout the property at all times;
  • All fans will receive temperature screenings before gate entry;
  • Grandstand seats will be marked for distancing;
  • Attendees must use pre-assigned gates and remain in their designated zones.

Global Medical Response, the world leader in compassionate, quality emergency medical and patient relocation services, will be the presenting sponsor of the penultimate weekend of INDYCAR racing this season.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

The plan, which includes each attendee receiving a mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer upon entering the track, was developed in consultation with state and local health officials.

This event weekend is highlighted by an NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader, with races Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3. It will be the penultimate event of the series’ season as the field pursues the champion’s prestigious Astor Challenge Cup to be awarded Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The INDYCAR Harvest GP will pay tribute to a storied IMS event, the Harvest Classic in September 1916. The Harvest Classic was the only racing event held outside of May at IMS from 1911 through 1993. The event featured three races, all won by legendary driver Johnny Aitken.

Fans also will see a host of facility improvements during the event weekend, including more than 30 new LED video boards, refreshed concession stands and restrooms, and 5G wireless connectivity throughout the facility.

The first race will air at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Friday, Oct. 2 on the USA Network. NBC will broadcast the second race at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Oct. 3, with WTHR-13 airing the action live in Central Indiana.

Also racing that weekend will be the first pairing of two major sports car series — the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli and its North American counterpart, GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS. Former Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ryan Briscoe is among the drivers in the Indianapolis 8 Hour event held Sunday, Oct. 4.

The event also will showcase drivers in SRO America’s Pirelli GT4 America, GT Sports Club America and the TC America series.

The full on-track schedule is available at IMS.com.