Photo: Audi Sport

Audi withdraws appeal of Abt Hong Kong disqualification

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Daniel Abt drove to his first FIA Formula E Championship victory on the road in Hong Kong’s second race of the weekend, but was disqualified after a mismatch between part numbers (barcodes) in the technical inspection of the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler car.

While Audi had initially planned to appeal the disqualification, the manufacturer has confirmed Monday it won’t do so. This leaves Felix Rosenqvist the race winner, having been promoted to the top spot after recovering back to second following a first lap spin from pole.

Abt turned 25 on Sunday and would have had a fantastic birthday present, only to lose it after the race for something out of his control.

“We took the time to carefully review all documents and processes,” said team principal Allan McNish. “We gained no advantage as a result of the administrative error and all parts fully complied to homologation and the technical regulations at all times.

“Still, we accept the decision of the FIA and fully back the technical passport regulations. Our team made a small mistake with big consequences that we own up to, unfortunately that deprived Daniel of his very deserved victory of which we can only apologize for. I am sure we will see him on the podium again soon.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will race the No. 3 vs. IndyCar stars in Michigan iRacing

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The invite has been received, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. has another iRacing event on his schedule.

The NASCAR on NBC analyst tweeted Wednesday that he will make his debut in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge with Saturday’s race at Michigan Speedway. The race will be shown live on NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

The 2-mile oval was chosen by IndyCar drivers as the third track in the six-race series. Earnhardt heartily endorsed Michigan as a potential iRacing venue Monday along with Daytona and Talladega. Michigan nearly was selected by fans as the opener in the iRacing Challenge.

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Earnhardt, a longtime avid iRacing fan, had been lobbying since last Thursday that he was interested in racing with IndyCar drivers.

He has driven in the first three races of the eNASCAR Pro Invitational, finishing second to Denny Hamlin in the opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Last year, he attended his first Indianapolis 500, working as an analyst as part of NBC Sports’ inaugural broadcast of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

“I’d love to do it,” Earnhardt said Monday about joining the IndyCar iRacing Challenge. “I think I’d love to get to know those guys.

“I had such a great time at the Indy 500 last year, and the reception that I received from other drivers there really meant a lot to me. So I know they’re all a lot of great dudes in that series that I already know that I’d love to get to know some of them even better.”

It already has been quite the week for Earnhardt, who was announced Monday as one of 15 nominees for the 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The field for Saturday’s race at Michigan should include another  NASCAR driver in Jimmie Johnson. The seven-time Cup champion has driven the first two races of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge (and has plans to race IndyCar part time in the future).