IndyCar cancels Portland Laguna Seca
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IndyCar cancels Portland, Laguna Seca; adds Mid-Ohio, Gateway, Indy

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UPDATE: IndyCar and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Couse announced Saturday that the Aug. 8-9 race weekend has been postponed to September or October

The NTT IndyCar Series has canceled three races in September at Portland International Raceway and Weather Tech Raceway at Laguna Seca, announcing Monday the expansion to three race doubleheader weekends to fill the gaps this season.

The first will take place at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which will add a race Saturday, Aug. 8 race to precede its previously announced Sunday, Aug. 9 event.

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway also will add a Saturday, Aug. 29 event to pair with its Sunday, Aug. 30 race. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course will play host to an additional race Friday, Oct. 2., adding to its already scheduled Saturday, Oct. 3 event — which now will mark the last of three races conducted this season on the road course layout that includes part of the famed 2.5-mile oval.

In a format similar to Iowa, World Wide Technology Raceway announced the lineups for both races will be set during an Aug. 29 qualifying session with the first lap determining the starting spot for Saturday’s 200-lap race and the second awarding the starting spot for Sunday’s 200-lap race.

IndyCar recently completed consecutive race weekend doubleheaders at Road America and Iowa Speedway that were well-received by teams.

“Our race fans have loved the exciting doubleheader action of the NTT IndyCar Series this year at Road America and Iowa Speedway,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “We look forward to giving them even more world-class entertainment this season at three of the most exciting racetracks on the NTT IndyCar Series calendar.”

The Grand Prix of Portland on Sept. 13 and the Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca doubleheader Sept. 20-21 have been canceled “by mutual decision between the series and promoters” because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar said it plans to return to both tracks next year. Portland had returned to the IndyCar schedule in 2018 after its most recent Champ Car race in 2007. Laguna Seca was the site of last year’s season finale after last playing host to Champ Car in 2004.

Here’s the release announcing IndyCar canceled its Portland and Laguna Seca races:

INDIANAPOLIS (July 27, 2020) – The NTT IndyCar Series released an updated 2020 race calendar today featuring several modifications.

Three events already scheduled on the series calendar will now become doubleheader weekends, including IndyCar’s upcoming race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Prior to the originally scheduled Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, Aug. 9, the stars of the NTT IndyCar Series will square off in another championship-points paying event Saturday, Aug. 8.

In addition, the race weekends at World Wide Technology Raceway in August and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in October will become doubleheader weekends. WWTR will feature races Saturday, Aug. 29 and Sunday, Aug. 30. IMS will add a road course race Friday, Oct. 2 before the already scheduled event Saturday, Oct. 3.

“Our race fans have loved the exciting doubleheader action of the NTT IndyCar Series this year at Road America and Iowa Speedway,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles said. “We look forward to giving them even more world-class entertainment this season at three of the most exciting racetracks on the NTT IndyCar Series calendar.”

INDYCAR’s race at Portland International Raceway and double-header weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cancellation of both event weekends was a mutual decision between the series and promoters following close consultation and monitoring of the local situation. The series looks forward to returning to both venues in 2021.

The NTT IndyCar Series remains on track to run 14 races in the 2020 season. The full, updated schedule can be found at IndyCar.com/Schedule.

Sergio Perez still has coronavirus; will miss second consecutive F1 race

F1 Sergio Perez out
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SILVERSTONE, England — Sergio Perez will be out for a second F1 race at Silverstone this week after again testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Mexican driver had hoped to return to Formula One after spending seven days in quarantine, but his Racing Point team said this morning he had tested positive.

“He is physically well and recovering,” the team said. “The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”

That means German veteran Nico Hulkenberg again fills in for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after having also replaced Sergio Perez when he was out for the F1 British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. Hulkenberg did not start that race because of an engine problem.

There are two consecutive weekends of racing at Silverstone as Formula One tries to pack in races following the pandemic-delayed start to the season.

Perez became the first Formula One driver to test positive for coronavirus, and it had been unclear whether he would be available to drive after the period of quarantine was extended to 10 days.

Racing Point also was in the news Friday after being hit with a 15-point penalty in the Formula One constructors’ championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000) Friday for using brake ducts based on those from last year’s Mercedes cars.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the “principal designer” of the parts, and that Racing Point made only minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.

Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which were added to the “listed parts” under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the Mercedes parts to inform its own design.

Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its 2020 car design on photographs of last year’s Mercedes car. The similarities led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the “pink Mercedes” when it was first seen in testing ahead of the season.

Racing Point can appeal the ruling. The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below Renault. The ruling doesn’t affect the points totals for Racing Point’s drivers.