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IndyCar: Sonoma championship update

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The INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma has seen a wild shakeup in the championship picture in the opening laps.

Alexander Rossi suffered opening lap trouble in the form of contact with teammate Marco Andretti as they took the green flag – Rossi suffered front wing damage in the incident and headed to the pits for repairs.

Rossi sits 23rd in the running order as of writing. Of note: Takuma was an early retiree after suffering an engine failure on Lap 16.

Meanwhile, Josef Newgarden, who came into Sunday’s race 87 points behind Dixon and still with a mathematical chance at catching him, saw his already small title chances take a big blow as he stalled trying to exit the pits. Newgarden quickly got refired, but dropped to ninth in the running order.

Further, Sato’s engine failure means Newgarden’s title hopes, and those of teammate Will Power – he was also 87 points back of Dixon – are even slimmer than when the race began.

Dixon, meanwhile, runs solidly in second behind pole sitter and early race leader Ryan Hunter-Reay. Will Power sits fifth at the time of writing.

As it stands (on Lap 30), Dixon leads Rossi by 95 points as they run. Power is 110 points back in third, while Hunter-Reay has leapfrogged Newgarden and sits fourth in the standings as they run.

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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.