Photo: IndyCar

IndyCar: Sonoma championship update No. 2

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Alexander Rossi is charging hard toward the front of the field after benefiting from a Lap 44 caution – Graham Rahal pulled off on the back straight away after suffering a loss of power.

Rossi, who damaged the front wing of his No. 27 Napa Auto Parts Honda and cut a right-front tire after contact with his Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti after opening lap contact, had just pitted when the yellow came out for Rahal, and was able to stay on the lead lap.

As a result, he was able catch back up to the remainder of the field, and even pitted again under the yellow for a splash of a fuel and a set of the Firestone alternate reds.

Rossi restarted in 20th, but was immediately on the charge after a Lap 50 restart. He vaulted up to 15th, taking advantage of restart chaos that saw a mad scramble in the final corner.

By Lap 60, when Rossi pitted for the final time, Rossi had bulldozed his way up to seventh, making a slew of aggressive passes along the way.

With final stops complete and under 20 laps left, Rossi sits fifth. However, Scott Dixon still runs solidly in second to leader Ryan Hunter-Reay. Dixon has had a trouble-free day and leads Rossi by 49 points with less than 20 laps remaining.

Will Power and Josef Newgarden run third and eighth respectively, but with Spencer Pigot and Takuma Sato officially out, their title chances are all but gone.

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Bryan Sellers aims to be first Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Champion

JaguarUSA.com
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Bryan Sellers will leave the familiar confines of his Paul Miller Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and head into the unknown in 2019.

At the age of 36, Sellers has 25 years of competitive racing behind him and is turning his attention to the battery-powered Jaguar I-PACE sedan that he will driver for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – something he describes as “the way of the future.”

Racing for Ohio native Bobby Rahal, it is a connection that brings him home to his roots. Sellers was born in Centerville, Ohio. 

“I’m very proud to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” Sellers said in a press release. “I grew up in Ohio watching Bobby (Rahal) win races and build an incredible racing program and it will be nice to finally get to see it from the inside.”

Sellers’ electric-powered Jaguar won’t have the same horsepower as the V10 Lamborghini that he steered to victory in the 2018 IMSA Weather Tech Sports Car championship with co-driver Madison Snow and Katherine Legge.

At his heart, Sellers is a  racer chasing a championship and it’s not the horsepower but the potential for close competition that drives him. Next year, he has an opportunity to win the first ever Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Championship.

In 2016, Jaguar joined the Formula E series. Now they are looking to make history with the world’s first all-electric production-based international race series that will compete at 10 venues next year in support of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The series’ 10 venues will be international, racing on tracks in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, China, Italy, Mexico, France, Monaco, Germany and the USA, which will showcase electric cars on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, in July.

“Electric cars are clearly the way of the future and to be involved with the first electric production car racing series is very important to me,” Sellers said. “I’m very thankful to everyone at RLL and Jaguar for giving me this opportunity.”

Sellers raced fulltime in the American LeMans Series from 2005 through 2013 – amassing four victories and two other podium finishes. In 30 career races in the Grand-Am Series, he added three more visits to the podium.

But it was last year that was clearly the highlight for Sellers. For the second time in his career, he scored multiple wins in a series (Sellers had two wins in ALMS in 2011), but he stood on the podium eight times in addition to winning the championship.

Joining Sellers in the I-PACE eTROPHY Championship Jaguar next year will be Legge, who was one of his co-drivers in 2018.

“Experience, maturity and pace are very important qualities that I was looking for when we chose our driver lineup,” said Rahal, the former IndyCar Champion and Indy 500 winner.

The series will kickoff with the Formula E season-opener in Riyadh on December 15, 2018. They will not run in conjunction with the next two Formula E rounds and will rejoin for most of the remainder of the 2019 season.