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Mark Webber receives Australia Day honor for services to motorsport

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Recently-retired race driver Mark Webber has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) as part of the honors awarded on Australia Day.

Webber, 40, raced in Formula 1 between 2002 and 2013 before moving into the FIA World Endurance Championship with Porsche, becoming world champion in 2015.

The Australian announced last year that he would be hanging up his race helmet at the end of the season, turning his attention to his TV punditry work.

On Thursday, Webber was listed on the Australia Day awards’ list as receiving the country’s highest national honor for “distinguished service to motor sport as a competitor and ambassador, and to the community through fundraising and patronage of a range of medical and youth support organizations.”

“I didn’t expect it at all. It’s a bit of a surprise, but I think it’s an absolute honour to be recognized at that level,” Webber told News Corp.

“It’s been a long-term run over here. I left a long time ago, and it’s been nice to fly the flag. You don’t look back too much, but I hope I represented Australia as best I could.”

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.