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Hartley not overthinking recent crazy race schedule over three series

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Brendon Hartley is trying not to overthink his recent racing commitments despite enjoying one of the busiest recent runs in motorsport, competing on eight straight weekends across three series.

Hartley’s relentless run started with Petit Le Mans on October 7 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship before racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship the following weekend at Fuji with Porsche.

The New Zealander was then drafted in by Toro Rosso to make his shock Formula 1 debut one week later in the United States, and retained his seat for the Mexican Grand Prix.

Hartley was back in action for Porsche last weekend in Shanghai as he was crowned WEC drivers’ champion for a second time before jetting to Brazil ahead of this weekend’s grand prix at Interlagos.

Following this sixth leg, Hartley will venture to Bahrain for the WEC season finale before then contesting the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to close out the F1 season.

In a year that has seen him also win the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time, learn of the closure of Porsche’s LMP1 program at the end of the season – at the time leaving him without a seat – and come close to a move into the Verizon IndyCar Series, Hartley has had plenty to juggle and come to terms with.

“I guess I’ve tried to not overthink it,” Hartley said. “Even winning the championship hasn’t really sunk in. I haven’t really had time to reflect.

“It probably helps that I’m just going from one weekend to the next. I think this is my sixth race in a row. It won’t be until I get home at the end of the year after all the racing’s over that I’ll be able to reflect and fully understand what’s just happened to me.

“I’m well aware that making my grand prix debut and Le Mans victory and World Endurance Championship… I mean, they’re all amazing things, but at the moment I’m just trying to take one step at a time and try to stay focussed and catch up on as much sleep as I can.”

Hartley is poised to race full-time in F1 next year with Toro Rosso in what would be his first permanent single-seater campaign since 2011.

Brendon Hartley’s late-season schedule

October 7 – Petit Le Mans (IMSA)
October 15 – 6 Hours of Fuji (WEC)
October 22 – United States Grand Prix (F1)
October 29 – Mexican Grand Prix (F1)
November 5 – 6 Hours of Shanghai (WEC)
November 12 – Brazilian Grand Prix (F1)
November 19 – 6 Hours of Bahrain (WEC)
November 26 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (F1)

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.