A reader asks the AR1.com experts, With James Hinchcliffe being so popular, and with his sponsor, Arrow, such a good supporter of IndyCar, do you think they should put him in the Indy 500 and push another driver out? Len Demanski
Dear Len, We understand the importance of having popular Hinchcliffe and his sponsor in the Indy 500. Ideally they would be. However, this is real simple. I will answer your question with a question. If the popular New England Patriots football team and their popular QB Tom Brady miss out on the Super Bowl by 1 point in the playoffs, should New England be put in the Super Bowl anyway because Brady is so popular and their sponsors might be disappointed?
If you are a real sport, the answer is no. If you are fake sport the answer might be yes. Mark C./AR1.com
Gary Paffett claims his 22nd DTM race win at Lausitz
Paffet starts to stretch the field
Gary Paffett has won the race at the Lausitzring on Sunday in a dominant way. The Mercedes-AMG driver, who started from third into the fourth of this season’s 20 races, already took the lead early in the race and held on to it until the checkered flag was out. For Paffett, it was the 22nd race win of his DTM career. “My heartbeat was really high, but not as high as at Hockenheim. This is an incredible start to this year. The season will be really thrilling,” race winner Paffett commented after the race. After 34 laps of the Lausitzring, BMW driver Marco Wittmann came in second behind Paffett. DTM returnee Pascal Wehrlein completed the podium in third place.
Hunter-Reay leads Andretti 1-2-3 in Sunday morning practice
Hunter-Reay leads Rossi
Ryan Hunter-Reay led an Andretti Autosport 1-2-3 in Sunday Morning practice ahead of final day of qualifications for the 102nd Indy 500. Hunter-Reay's lap of 230.507 nipped his teammates Marco Andretti and Alexander Rossi.
However, the Andretti team's times were set with a tow and they remain slower than the Chevys.
Might Kubica ruin his comeback driving Paddy Lowe's slug? He has a reputation to protect as well.
Last weekend, at the Spanish Grand Prix, Robert Kubica surprised the paddock by posting laps faster than either of the team's race drivers, Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, despite less time in the car.
Kubica himself was satisfied with his performance on track, and claimed he "could make a comeback now," in an interview with BBC Sport. More confidence-inspiring news for Kubica fans surfaced after the Grand Prix weekend concluded.
Well-connected Formula 1 journalist and technical analyst Craig Scarborough appeared on the 3 Legs 4 Wheels podcast, where he reported information from trusted sources who alleged that Kubica's speed was no fluke, and that despite accounting for tire compound and track temperature variation, the Pole was reportedly still faster.
Pole Day Update from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Danica and Bourdais will make a run for the pole today
Good morning from Indianapolis. The weather is perfect right now, a sunny 64 degrees with not a cloud in the sky. Temperatures are expected to reach in the low 80's, which will be much warmer than yesterday's temps. Let's just not look at the weather forecast for today since it was not dependable yesterday. More thunderstorms are predicted late in the afternoon.
Video: Steve O'Donnell post All-Star Race press conference
Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, talks about how much better the car raced at Charlotte this year versus last year that had almost no passing.
NASCAR "made a radical change" to the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway this year with an aerodynamic package that "included a controversial horsepower-sapping restrictor plate, and it slowed the cars into a tighter pack that allowed for increased passing."
HIGHLIGHTS: 2018 Indy 500 Bump Day Bump Day returned to Indy 500 Qualifying weekend and with it came plenty of surprises. Watch the highlights from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 19, 2018. Comment
Marc Marquez’s stunning 1’31.293 in today’s qualifying at Le Mans was 0.790” faster than the previous circuit-best lap (Lorenzo – 2016) but just a fraction down on the new pole record set by Johann Zarco in front of his home crowd.
It was an incredibly tense Q2 session in Le Mans, with all eyes pinned towards the number 5 to see if he could get his M1 Yamaha on pole. The Frenchman, straight out the blocks, didn’t disappoint. He topped the timesheets after his first flying lap, however Marquez – as ever – was quick to reply. The reigning World Champion wasn’t at the summit for long though, as Petrucci put in his fastest lap of the weekend go provisional P1. Zarco though had other ideas, and on the final lap of his first run, the Frenchman sent a warning sign, going 0.330 seconds quicker than anyone else.
Kyle Larson led the pack in a last-minute practice addition Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a top lap speed of 173.305 MPH. Clint Bowyer was second and Kevin Harvick third. All three are already in the All-Star event tonight, which will feature a high-drag, low-horsepower aerodynamic package with restricted engines in an attempt to close up the pack during races. Rain washed out the scheduled Friday practices, and NASCAR opted to give drivers a chance to get acclimated to the cars, which they have not raced previously.
The fastest Open drivers were Aric Almirola (172.474 MPH), Daniel Suarez and Darrell Wallace, Jr., who were fourth, fifth and sixth overall, respectively. Kurt Busch was seventh, Alex Bowman eighth, Ryan Blaney ninth and Chase Elliott rounded out the top 10.
Other notables include seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson in 11th, point leader Kyle Busch in 12th and reigning Cup champ Martin Truex Jr. in 19th.
Lap times for the top 27 of the 38 cars that practiced were within a half-second of one another, with most teams practicing drafting in packs as the session wore on, something that this rules package allows for.
The Monster Energy Open is scheduled for 6:00 PM Eastern with the All-Star Race to follow at 8:00.
UPDATE Update -- IndyCar now estimates qualification to resume at 2:15 pm. Pit road opened at 1:50. Both are earlier than first predicted (by IMS, not just us here at AR1) but probably IMS can read the RADAR. It is highly likely that rain will be in the area by 5:00 Indy time.
- Tim Wohlford and Lucille Dust, reporting from IMS
After safety car and red flag: Edoardo Mortara wins turbulent Saturday race at Lausitz
Edoardo Mortara leads
Edoardo Mortara emerged as the winner from an action-packed third DTM race of the season. With his Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM, the Italian won the race at the Lausitzring on Saturday. For Mortara, it is the ninth win of his DTM career and the first for Mercedes-AMG. “The first victory with Mercedes-AMG is a very special victory and a very emotional one”, Mortara said after the prize-giving ceremony.
It's Indy in May, where everyone becomes a meteorologist. Today is no different. There is rain heading this way, but it's currently in Illinois. It's hot and muggy and overcast right now, and morning practice was shortened in anticipation of incoming rain. The word is that today's speeds all stand in case of rainout tomorrow. However, the Bump Day thing will be done at the end of today -- unless we have a rainout.
UPDATE IndyCar has just announced that the first practice will start at 8:45 am. Each group will get only 20 minutes of practice time. The third session that was going to be a practice session for all cars has been cancelled.
Eric Boullier has not shown he's the man yet in all these years
McLaren's racing director Eric Boullier has defended his leadership of the Woking team, insisting he remains the right man to get McLaren back to the front of Formula 1.
Whilst the British team has made giant strides this year when compared to the previous three seasons with Honda power – it's points tally of 40 in five races is ten more than it managed during the entire 2017 season – it is still some way off the leading pace, with leaders Mercedes racking up 153 points and Renault customer Red Bull on double McLaren's tally.
On Friday evening, the order was set to Saturday’s qualifications for the 102nd Indianapolis 500. Although each team drew slots in qualifications for primary and backup cars, it is unlikely that teams will be utilizing the backup or “T” cars. A.J. Foyt Racing with Byrd/Hollinger/Belardi driver James Davison had a massive shunt in Friday practice, but it remains to be seen if they will not be able to utilize their primary car, despite significant damage. In either case, the team will have a lot of work ahead of them.
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