THE HOST IS OVER THE MOON WITH FERNANDO’S VICTORY AT THE DAYTONA 24 HOURS! WE DISCUSS THE 2019 POSSIBILITIES AND IMPOSSIBILITIES,
HERE IS SOME NEWS FROM THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY…
The 50th anniversary of Mario Andretti’s historic Indianapolis 500 victory in 1969 will be honored on the Bronze Badge for this Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A Bronze Badge is a treasured keepsake that provides fans with insider access and one of the best values in sports. It provides gate admission and Gasoline Alley access every day IMS is open during May except for Race Days for the INDYCAR Grand Prix and the 103rd Indianapolis 500.
“It is one of the ultimate honors in Indianapolis to be on a Bronze Badge,” Andretti said. “I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family at the Speedway, sending accolades in such a magnificent way.
“Since I am almost at a loss for words when I look at the Bronze Badge, I can only express my appreciation with a sincere and profound thank you. I’m going to embrace the honor, and I’m ever so grateful for the recognition.”
Fans with Bronze Badges get behind the scenes in the garage area, where they can interact with drivers, see NTT IndyCar Series cars up close and much more. They also provide even more value for fans who visit the track many days during May.
Bronze Badges can be purchased at ims.com/bronzebadge for $135 each through March 31. The price increases to $150 on April 1, so order today while supplies last. Each Bronze Badge holder must be 18 or older and is required to sign a waiver.
A limited number of Silver Badges also are available for $500 each. Silver Badges add pit lane access to the same perks as the Bronze Badge. Pre-race (cold) pit passes for INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 Race Day can be added to Silver Badges for an additional $1,000.
For more information on Bronze Badges and Silver Badges, call the IMS Credential Office at 317-492-6500.
Cardboard or laminate badges were used from the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911 through 1937, assigned only to event participants. Beginning in 1938, more durable metal badges were used before IMS Bronze Badges made their debut in 1947 and were initially sold to the general public in the early 1990s, immediately becoming a coveted motorsports collectible.
FERNANDO (EL MACHISMO) ALONSO WINS THE DAYTON 24 HOURS!
The Cadillac DPi-V.R teams have won the last three 24 Hours of Daytona races in a row as Fernando Alonso took the black and blue Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing car across the finish line for the final time some two hours before the race actually ended. With safety top of mind, the stewards finally threw the red flag for the second time and let that stoppage continue on to the end of the race.
The #10 Cadillac of Alonso, Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande, and Kamui Kobayashi may have been in the lucky position of number one as the red flag fell, but it was a true credit to all four of them that the car had managed to stay in the hunt for the 20-ish hours of actual racing that occurred. The mega battles that, in particular Alonso had against Acura’s Helio Castroneves, and Kobayashi had with seemingly everyone.
The competition in the DPi category was stiff, but Cadillac had the measure of the field again. The Mazdas, though fast, were too fragile to make it to the finish. The lone Nissan simply couldn’t keep it on the island. The two Acuras were in the fight all race long, but couldn’t quite match the Caddys on fuel economy.
This is Jordan Taylor’s second victory in his father’s team, having previously won in 2017. Van der Zande, Kobayashi, and Alonso netted their collective first Daytona 24 victory. Alonso has now won the Monaco Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the 24 Hours of Daytona. He’s heading to Indianapolis this May for another run at the Indy 500.
The #18 Oreca of Dragonspeed drivers Pastor Maldonado, Roberto Gonzalez, Ryan Cullen, and Sebastian Saavedra teamed for victory in the four-car LMP2 class. It was pretty obvious that Dragonspeed would take the win, as they stretched out a double-digit lap lead over the other two LMP2 teams by mid-race.
From there, it was just a matter of which Dragonspeed car would make it to the end. The #81 was leading, but crashed and lost many laps. The #18 also crashed a number of times, but never bad enough to sideline the car long. The team won the race with a 4 lap lead.
SÉBASTIEN OGIER WON HIS SIXTH CONSECUTIVE RALLYE MONTE-CARLO ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON AFTER A PULSATING DUEL WITH THIERRY NEUVILLE.
Neuville eroded the Frenchman’s overnight lead and Ogier, driving a Citroën C3 for the first time, started the final speed test just 0.4sec ahead. Despite a throttle problem, he fended off the Belgian to win by 2.2sec – the closest Monte-Carlo finish in history.
Ott Tänak overhauled nine-time champion Sébastien Loeb and Jari-Matti Latvala to clinch third in a Toyota Yaris, a further 2min 13.0sec behind.
Kris Meeke won the final live TV Wolf Power Stage to claim five bonus points in a Toyota Yaris. Ogier took four points for second with Neuville scoring three in third. Tänak and Teemu Suninen, driving a Ford Fiesta, took two and one point respectively.
OGIER-INGRASSIA GRAB OVERALL LEAD IN THEIR C3 WRC!
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia claimed two stage wins during today’s leg on their way to grabbing the overall lead, proving they have already got to grips with their C3 WRC. Forced to retire after breaking a suspension wishbone on the apex of a corner, Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm paid a heavy price for a relatively minor mistake.
After fresh snow fell on Thursday morning, Valdrome – Sigottier (20.04km) and Curbans – Piegut (18.47km), the two new stages that stood out in today’s leg, promised to be especially tricky in the many sections left in the shade, deprived of any warming effect of the sun. The Citroën Total World Rally Team therefore decided to opt for four Michelin studded tyres and two soft compound slicks for their cars, in what should have proven to be the right call on tyre choice. However, the cancellation of SS3 (Valdrome – Sigottier) – the iciest of the morning loop’s three stages – seriously compromised the tactics of the team.
Given the situation, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia managed to produce a sublime performance on SS4! Fitted with two studded tyres and two slicks mounted on opposite corners of the car, on a test more suited to a dry tyre set-up, they nonetheless managed to grab the third fastest time, reducing the gap to the leaders in the process. The pair then secured their first stage win in the C3 WRC on SS5, reaching the midday service just 3.4s off the leader. In the afternoon, the six-time world rally champions confirmed how much they relish this unusual event. They collected a second stage win on SS6 to take them into the overall lead, ended day two with a 2.0s lead over their nearest rivals. All of which suggests that they have already formed an effective bond with C3 WRC!
Following the cancellation of the day’s opening stage, which left him to cope with a tyre set-up that had suddenly become unsuited to the conditions, Esapekka Lappi had a slightly harder time of it. However, he remained in the fight for a top-five spot at the end of the first loop. Unfortunately, an impact broke part of the front left-hand suspension on his C3 WRC when action resumed in the afternoon (SS6), forcing him to retire from the leg. He will rejoin tomorrow, determined to keep building on his promising start with the C3 WRC.
The rally heads towards the Champsaur and Dévoluy mountains tomorrow, on what is home territory for Sébastien Ogier. The local favourite will therefore be determined to keep up his good form on the 93.38 kilometres contested on Saturday’s leg (in four stages).
THIERRY NEUVILLE HELD A SLENDER RALLYE MONTE-CARLO LEAD OVER WORLD CHAMPION SÉBASTIEN OGIER FOLLOWING A SHORTENED BUT TRICKY MORNING’S ACTION ON FRIDAY.
The Belgian, third overnight in a Hyundai i20, headed Ogier by 3.4sec after typically mixed conditions in the French Alps ensured tyre choice played a significant part in drivers’ fortunes.
The opening speed test from Valdrome to Sigottier was cancelled due to the number of spectators packed into unsafe positions near the finish.
A thin layer of frozen snow in the opening half had prompted many drivers to opt for Michelin’s studded winter tyres. The cancellation meant their advantage was lost and compromised their pace through the remaining two stages, which were drier.
Neuville’s defensive options worked well. He was second in both tests but returned to service in Gap breathing a sigh of relief. “I had a rear tyre which was very worn at the beginning. The rubber was gone and nothing must be left of it, but we managed,” he said.
Ogier’s choice was weighted more towards studs. Although disappointed that the stage where he should have profited was scrubbed, the Citroën C3 pilot went fastest through the final test from Curbans to Piegut.
Overnight leader Ott Tänak slipped to third in his Toyota Yaris. The Estonian was in the same tyre tangle as Ogier and he trailed Neuville by 16.9sec.
The leading trio retained last night’s significant advantage. More than half a minute further back in fourth was i20 debutant Sébastien Loeb. He won the Roussieux – Laborel stage, but a low start position meant he struggled on mud and gravel dragged onto the asphalt by those ahead.