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Force India to remain in F1 under new name after takeover

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SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP) — Force India will remain in Formula One as a renamed team under new ownership following a successful consortium takeover by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.

F1’s governing body, FIA, confirmed Thursday that the team can continue to compete as the Racing Point Force India team. The name change is because the team had to apply as an entirely new outfit.

British-based Force India was excluded from this year’s championship after going into administration last month.

A consortium of investors led by Stroll – the father of Williams F1 driver Lance Stroll – moved in to save Force India and its 400 employees by bringing it out of administration.

The sale of the business to the new consortium – known as Racing Point UK Limited – has officially gone through and the renamed team can resume racing at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

“We are very pleased that the situation has been resolved and that the team will continue to race in Formula One,” F1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey said. “It is also very gratifying that, in partnership with the stakeholders involved, we have been able to safeguard the livelihoods of the many hundreds of people working at its Silverstone base.”

The renamed team will lose all the points gained by Force India, which was sixth in the constructors’ championship with nine races left this season, and start again from scratch. Drivers Sergio Perez of Mexico and Esteban Ocon of France are not impacted and will retain their points.

Last month, Perez took legal action against Force India to save its immediate F1 future by forcing it into administration. Perez’s legal action was supported by creditors including engine supplier Mercedes.

Force India reportedly owes more than 10 million pounds ($13 million) to Mercedes and around 3 million pounds ($3.9 million) to Perez.

Reflecting on the takeover, Lawrence Stroll said “we will invest in new resources and bring fresh energy to empower the workforce.”

That could also mean signing his 19-year-son.

When asked at a news conference on Thursday if he was staying with Williams, the teenage driver did not commit.

“At the moment I’m at Williams, we’ll see what happens with me in the future and I wish (my father) all the best with Force India,” he said. “It’s definitely a very exciting future for him.”

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.