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All 10 F1 teams to help Pirelli develop 2018-spec tires

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Pirelli has confirmed that all 10 Formula 1 teams will play a part in helping to develop its new tires for the 2018 season.

Pirelli called on teams to help develop its revised tires for the 2017 season, with an increase in size of 25 per cent intended to hark back to the look used by F1 in the 1970s and ’80s.

Only Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull decided to get involved, creating ‘mule cars’ – altered versions of their 2016 chassis to reflect 2017 levels of downforce – to conduct running at a number of circuits.

Pirelli once again approached every team on the grid to help develop its compounds for 2018, and confirmed on Saturday that all 10 have agreed to play a part using their current cars.

“The way that the tests will be carried out remains identical to last year, so these will still be ‘blind’ tests, without the teams and drivers knowing exactly which type of tires they are trying out,” Pirelli’s statement reads.

“Eight circuits will host the development program. As well as Bahrain, where Ferrari will devote one car to tire testing on Tuesday, tests will also take place in Barcelona, Silverstone, Magny- Cours, Budapest (again during the in-season test immediately following the grand prix), Mexico and Interlagos.

“There will also be a wet test at Paul Ricard, using the circuit’s facilities that allow the surface to be artificially dampened.”

Pirelli 2018 F1 Tire Testing Programme

1. Bahrain – April 18-19 – Ferrari
2. Barcelona – May 16-17 – Renault/Toro Rosso
3. Paul Ricard – May 31 – June 1 – Red Bull
4. Paul Ricard – June 29-30 – Red Bull
5. Silverstone – July 18-19 – Williams/Haas
6. Magny-Cours – July 19-20 – McLaren
7. Budapest – August 1-2 – Mercedes
8. Barcelona – August 3-4 – Ferrari
9. Paul Ricard – September 7-8 – Mercedes
10. Mexico – October 31 – November 1 – Sauber/Force India
11. Interlagos – November 14-15 – McLaren

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.