Chip Ganassi Racing’s Charlie Kimball will visit Gateway Motorsports Park on Thursday for a media appearance and will take a ceremonial lap of the repaved 1.25-mile oval.
Following a test in early May that saw several cars suffer cut tires, Gateway officials opted to completely repave the facility ahead of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline on August 26. The project began after the June 17 Drivin’ for Linemen 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and was completed earlier this week.
“I’m really excited to race at Gateway Motorsports Park,” said Kimball. “The opportunity to test there didn’t really pan out earlier in the season with the old paving, so I think the whole series is looking forward to getting out there and seeing what kind of improvements have been made to the track. It’s great to see the investment that Gateway has put into the track with the repaving – new asphalt always produces amazing racing with the Verizon IndyCar Series. To be able to compete under the lights in August on Saturday night on a short track like Gateway is going to be fantastic. I think the way Turn 1 and Turn 3 are so very different is going to lead to an incredible event and the new asphalt will only add to that.”
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McLaren Formula One drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris are taking pay cuts, while the team is furloughing other employees as part of protective cost-cutting during the coronavirus pandemic.
With F1 racing suspended, McLaren said both drivers and senior management, including chief executive Zak Brown, all agreed to voluntary pay decreases. No figure was given, but McLaren said the percentage of the cut is the same for all employees who are not furloughed.
McLaren said in an email that “these measures are focused on protecting jobs in the short term to ensure our employees return to full-time work as the economy recovers.”
Sainz Jr. tweeted his support, saying “I fully understand these tough decisions and I have obviously decided to take a pay cut. We are all in this together.”
The first eight races of the 22-race campaign have been called off because of the virus. The season-opening Australian GP and the showpiece Monaco GP have been canceled, while the others might be rescheduled.
There is no date set for when the season might start, with the Canadian GP the next scheduled race on the disrupted calendar on June 14.
The season is scheduled to finish with the Abu Dhabi GP on Nov. 29, but F1 organizers previously said they anticipated that “the season end date will extend beyond our original end date.”
To further save costs and potentially gain time, engine manufacturers and teams are observing a three-week factory shutdown period. It normally would have been two weeks and would have taken place during the midseason summer break.