(Photo by Dean Treml/Red Bull via Getty Images)

Hybrid plug-in technology highlighted in 2020 LMP1 regs reveal

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As the LMP1 class at Le Mans and within the FIA World Endurance Championship heads into a new phase – a fuller range of privateers are ramping up expected programs for 2018 – the new 2020 class regulations bring hybrid plug-in technology into the wording.

The development of hybrid plug-in technology will allow manufacturers to run short distances on battery power and then switch back to combustion engines. The regulations will also allow cars to finish the race on electric autonomy, although those details are still being determined.

Anyway, per the ACO, these regulations produced five major objectives from discussions between the ACO, FIA and manufacturers:

  • Adapting the technologies to road-going vehicles
  • Cost capping
  • Technological diversity
  • Level playing field in terms of performance
  • Retain the appeal for spectators, sponsors and media thanks to top-level performances undergoing constant improvement

The six main principles outlined to govern these regulations include:

  • Zero emissions and rapid recharging
  • Safety
  • Two energy recovery systems retained still limited to 8MJ
  • Introduction of active aerodynamics
  • Integration of biofuels
  • Introduction of new energies

The full ACO release is linked here, and the full regulations for LMP1 in 2020 are linked here.

Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew ready for IndyCar ride

Road to Indy
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Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew has done nothing but dominate the 2019 season, winning seven of the 16 races run so far and finishing on the podium in all but two of those events.

Now all the 22-year-old Floridian needs to do to formally clinch the 2019 title is simply start the final two races of the season, both of which will be held this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

For Askew, his maiden Indy Lights season will likely be one he’ll never forget. 

“It’s been a dream come true,” Askew told NBC Sports. “Being with the championship-winning team from last year, we had a really good shot at winning it again for Andretti Autosport. It’s very rare that we show up to a track and struggle to find speed. 

“That’s a fantastic feeling, especially as a driver. That gave me a lot of confidence and hopes of holding the million dollar check at the end of the year. That was the goal going into it.”

This weekend, Askew will accomplish said goal. The championship will not only bring him a sense of pride, but also the opportunity of a lifetime. 

As an award for being crowned the Indy Lights champion, Askew will be awarded a scholarship that guarantees him entry into a minimum of three NTT IndyCar Series events next year – including the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Time will only tell which team Askew will race for in IndyCar next season, and whether or not Askew’s rookie campaign will be a full-time or part-time affair, but Askew’s performance during the last few seasons in the Road to Indy system has certainly drawn attention of IndyCar’s top team owners.

In August, Askew had the chance to drive an Indy car for the first time in his career during a test session at Portland International Raceway, driving the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda usually piloted by Scott Dixon.

“It was an opportunity with Chip Ganassi Racing that I was very fortunate to have,” Askew said. “I think with my experience in the past couple of years with Cape Motorsports and this year with Andretti Autosport, going into that test was very helpful.

“Going into the test, it was more of trying to treat it as just another day at the racetrack, when it really wasn’t. It was a fantastic opportunity for me – a great experience – and I hope I can take that into my rookie season next year in IndyCar.” 

The final two races of the 2019 Indy Lights season will take place this weekend on Saturday, September 21 at 6 p.m. ET and Sunday, September 22 at 12:05 p.m. ET. Both races will air live on NBC Sports Gold.

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