INDYCAR

Fernando Alonso will keep 2017 Indy 500 car for racing museum

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Fernando Alonso has confirmed that he will be allowed to keep his McLaren-Honda-Andretti Dallara DW12 car from this year’s Indianapolis 500 to go in his racing museum.

Alonso shocked the racing world last month by announcing his entry to this year’s Indy 500, opting to skip the Monaco Grand Prix as part of his bid to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport.

Alonso has set up a racing museum with a number of his racing cars and a go-karting track in his native Spain, and revealed on Thursday that No. 29 car that races in the ‘500 on May 28 will be going there a well.

“After the race the car will be in the museum as well,” Alonso confirmed.

“Every car I jumped in from 2004 or something like that, it’s always in my contract that it will be in my museum afterwards. This one is no different.”

Alonso enjoyed his first Indy car test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 3, passing the Rookie Orientation Program with flying colors, and will begin the official practice running ahead of the race on Monday.

“It was different, probably as I expected it to be. The car felt quite different,” Alonso said of the test.

“Running this asymmetric setup definitely feels not normal to drive so you need to adjust a little bit your mind set going into the run, into the first corner.

“But the end of the day I felt a little bit more comfortable. I was able to feel some of the set-up changes and things like that, because I think the driving technique is quite different, so step-by-step. I did the first one, which is just the first feeling with the car.

“But now, when next week we start the free practice and you start running with other people around etc., I think I will hopefully build a little bit more confidence and start understanding what the car needs and what I need as well to be prepared for May 28th.

“So yeah, two intense weeks ahead but pretty much looking forward.”

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.