DragonSpeed

Sports cars’ DragonSpeed to expand into IndyCar part-time in 2019, full-time in 2020

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The IndyCar Series will add another team to its ranks for the upcoming 2019 season.

The new team, known as DragonSpeed, will compete on a part-time basis next season, with hopes of expanding to a full-time entry in 2020.

For now, the new team plans on competing in five races in 2019, including the 103rd Indianapolis 500. The other races on include the IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg (March 10), Barber Motorsports Park (April 7), Road America (June 23) and Mid-Ohio (July 28).

“IndyCar is enjoying a major upswing thanks to the quality of the racing produced by the current regulations,” team founder Elton Julian said in a media release. “The fans see it, the teams see it, the manufacturers and sponsors see it, and I think NBC saw it when they decided to take on the (exclusive) television coverage.

“With so much interest from new entrants, we’re also grateful for IndyCar’s support of our bid to join the series and to Chevy for making room for us in their engine program.”

British driver Ben Hanley, 33, has been tabbed to drive the Chevrolet-powered car for DragonSpeed. Hanley will be an IndyCar rookie, but will be entering his fourth season with DragonSpeed in the sports car ranks.

Hanley also has past experience in Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2, as well as being a test driver in F2.

“For the team, it’s a matter of our growing experience catching up to our ambitions,” Julian said. “The last few seasons of endurance racing have given us an intensive platform for developing our preparation, race engineering, pit stop and strategy skills. There are some impressive open-wheel credentials up and down the team, and Ben’s pace and exceptional detail feel for setup and tires should be a great asset.

“None of this is to underplay the difficulty of the challenge ahead, because INDYCAR is the toughest series we’ve ever contested, with the world’s biggest race as its centerpiece,” Julian added. “On the other hand, we didn’t go from club racing a decade ago to a Pirelli World Challenge title in 2015 to prototypes at Le Mans without climbing a few mountains, and I take a lot of confidence from the talent and spirit of the people we’ve put together for the next summit.”

DragonSpeed has had considerable success in the sports car ranks since it was founded in 2007 by Julian.

Among the team’s accomplishments in the sports car ranks to date include winning the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge GTA championship and the 2017 European Le Mans Series LMP2 crown.

DragonSpeed will continue competing in the 2019 World Endurance Championship, including the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 1000 miles at Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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