Track drying process underway to run Indy 500 Saturday qualifying

Photo: IndyCar
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INDIANAPOLIS – Track drying efforts are underway to get the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ready to go for qualifying at the first day of time trials for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

More than two hours of rain from just before the planned start time of 11 a.m. bled into the 1 p.m. hour, but has since stopped within the last half hour.

The latest update from INDYCAR estimates the track drying process to take just over two hours at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the goal of starting qualifying by 4 p.m. ET and local time.

The hope is that will provide enough time to run through all 33 cars at least one time through the order.

Here’s the official word from INDYCAR:

Efforts are being made to dry the track and Indianapolis Motor Speedway is prepared to extend today’s activities beyond 6 p.m. to execute first-day qualifying. All entrants will each get one qualifying attempt today in order to set the groups for Sunday’s qualifying session.

INDYCAR estimates Qualifications will begin at 4 pm.

An update from this morning is here and a link to the qualification process is here.

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.