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LAT levitt I500 32343

LAT levitt I500 32343Welcome to RACER.com's Live Report from the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Check back for regular updates during the race.

3:19 pm: Hildebrand has pitted from third with 15 to go. Newgarden leads from Kanaan, Munoz, Hinchcliffe and Dixon.

3:15 pm: Newgarden takes the lead with 20 laps to go.

3:08pm: Restart; Hildebrand drops behind Kanaan, Newgarden and Hinchcliffe.

3:04 pm: Replays show that the damage to Castroneves' car was caused by a tap from Hildebrand. JR is also the current race leader by virtue of not having stopped under the yellow, although he was looking very quick prior to the caution.

3:00 pm: Drama, and more drama. Castroneves' left rear bumper broke loose and was waving all over the place, and just as we were starting to wonder why he wasn't being black-flagged, Sato hit the wall and is damaged, but manages to get himself back to the pits.

2:58 pm: Restart with 41 to go. Kanaan takes the lead, and there's all sorts of side-by-side stuff going on behind him.

2:52 pm: So the order now is Castroneves, Kanaan, Newgarden, Hinchcliffe and Bourdais. Hildebrand and Power are just outside the top five along with Rossi, although the latter is on a different fuel load.

2:50 pm: Among those whose afternoons have been made more difficult by the timing of that yellow: Rahal, Dixon, Sato and Munoz.

2:45 pm: Buddy Lazier's car and Buddy Lazier's front-left wheel are heading in different directions. It just popped off as he was heading out of the pits after a stop. He three-wheels along for a while and then stops to await rescue. We're under caution. Some drivers, including Castroneves, Kanaan, Hinchcliffe, Newgarden, Hildebrand and Bourdais were already in the pits when the yellows came out; everyone had to wait for the pits to reopen. That's probably ruined quite a few people's afternoons.

2:37 pm: Rossi pits from the lead, and the top five is now Castroneves, Kanaan, Hinchcliffe, Munoz and Newgarden.

2:35 pm: Marco Andretti is marching backwards - he's dropped from sixth to 20th in about three laps. Reports are that he has a tire pressure problem.

2:30 pm: Penalty for Bell for that pitlane business. Rossi now leads from Tagliani, although both will need fuel soon. Behind them are Kanaan, Hinchcliffe and Castroneves.

2:23 pm: Both of the damaged Andrettis have been fixed and sent back out.  Off-sequence duo Tagliani and Rossi lead ahead of Castroneves, Hinchcliffe and Kanaan.

2:18 pm: And now we've had an accident in pitlane, and it involves two Andretti teammates. Bell was released into the path of Castroneves, and bounced back into Hunter-Reay's car.

2:15 pm: Under caution again, this time following a clash between Conor Daly and Mikhail Aleshin at Turn 2. Aleshin lost the rear of his car all by himself, and while he was busy spinnning into the wall Daly did exactly the same thing and ended up thumping Aleshin's wreckage. Daly limps back to the pits, but Aleshin's car is on a crane.

2:10 pm: Kanaan is the new leader ... for about half a lap, whereupon Hunter-Reay takes the place back. Bell is getting involved in all of this as well.

2:07 pm: Back to green. Hunter-Reay moves into the lead, and a busy Tony Kanaan jumps up to third.

2:05 pm: We're still yellow, but a couple of pitstops have changed the order up a little. Castroneves now leads from Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Bell and Andretti.

1:57 pm: Still under yellows. The current top 10 is Clauson(!), Castroneves, Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Bell, Andretti, Kanaan, Newgarden, Munoz and Rahal.

1:50: We were about to tell you about Sage Karam having worked his way up to sixth, but instead, we're telling you about him hitting the wall. He'd been battling with Bell, and stayed committed to a ballsy move around the outside. It was a big hit, but Karam is already out of the car and appears to be fine. Caution.

1:43: We've been back underway for a few laps, and Power has been freight-trained back to the outer reaches of the top 10. Hinchcliffe is back in the lead, ahead of Castroneves, Hunter-Reay and Bell.

1:32: The restart is waved off. Meanwhile, Pagenaud has been sent to the back of the field for an unsafe pit release. That's two Penske penalties so far, and one Penske crash. Don't tell Helio.

1:29 pm: So the order under the yellow is Power (who didn't pit), Hinchcliffe, Hunter-Reay, Castroneves, Bell, Newgarden, Munoz, Kanaan, Aleshin and Pagenaud. Elsewhere, it looks like something's going on with Carpenter's car - he's in the pits, and his crew are poking around looking worried.

1:20 pm: The restart was a bit lairy, but somehow everyone made it through in one piece. It's a different story now, though - Montoya lost it in Turn 2 and spun up into the wall before spinning back down to the infield. A few other drivers were lucky not to get caught up in that, most notably Graham Rahal. We're back under yellows, obviously.

1:13 pm: Will Power has been sent to the rear of the field for an unsafe pit release.

1:07 pm: The yellow is for debris, by the way.

1:06 pm: Looks like Power nudged Kanaan into the wall - in pitlane.

1:03 pm: And then of course the internet decides to go all glitchy as soon as the race starts. So here's what you missed: lots of slipstreaming among the leaders during the first stint, a slow stop for Hinchcliffe, and Townsend Bell taking the lead. That said, we're now under caution and almost everyone pitted, so let's see how things shake out.

12:29 pm: Green flag!

12:28 pm: Buddy Lazier is in the pits. Sounds like he has a stuck throttle.

12:23 pm: The command has been given, and the cars are rolling. Helio Castroneves was slow to get moving, but he's on his way now.

12:00 pm: It's an event more than a century in the making, and it's finally here: the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. It's hot and humid here IMS with scattered clouds, and continued whispers that rain might become a factor in a couple of hours time. Right now though, the sun is shining, the crowd is massive, and the pre-race ceremony is underway.

 

 

monaco race ledeLewis Hamilton clinched his first Formula 1 victory of the 2016 season after pit stop heartbreak for Daniel Ricciardo in a thrilling rain-hit Monaco Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion's Mercedes finished seven seconds clear of polesitter Ricciardo in the Red Bull with Force India's Sergio Perez completing the podium.

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start monacoOvernight rain continued throughout the morning in Monaco with conditions sufficiently treacherous that the race was started under the safety car for the first time in its history.

After seven laps, the safety car was called in – a few laps after Hamilton had said on team radio that conditions were good enough to get under way – and Ricciardo pulled away in the lead, ahead of Nico Rosberg and Hamilton.

It became clear Hamilton was the faster of the two Mercedes, with Rosberg struggling with brake temperatures, so the team instructed the German to let Hamilton past.

Hamilton set off in chase of Ricciardo and although the track was drying out, he chose to stay out on full wets when Ricciardo pitted for intermediates and therefore inherited the lead.

Ricciardo caught Hamilton quickly and retook the lead when the Mercedes pitted for the ultra-soft at the end of lap 31 of 78. The Australian pitted next time around, but a miscommunication meant the tires were not ready when he reached the pitbox.

Eventually, the team fitted super-softs and got him out, but as he exited the pits Hamilton swept around the outside to retake the lead.

Ricciardo closed on Hamilton as they went through the tunnel with the Mercedes cutting the chicane and then bullishly blocking his rival as he came under attack on the outside on the run to Tabac. Ricciardo waved his hand in frustration but the stewards decided to take no further action after investigating the incident.

ham win monacoHamilton then absorbed pressure from Ricciardo to keep the lead and secure his 44th career victory – and first since he clinched his third world title in last year's United States GP.

Perez jumped to third with well-timed tire changes and then resisted heavy pressure from Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari to give Force India its first podium of 2016.

Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen retired early on when he crashed at Loews, blocking Romain Grosjean as he tried to rejoin and then pulling off at the exit of the tunnel with his front wing lodged underneath the car.

Fernando Alonso finished a brilliant fifth place with Nico Hulkenberg stealing sixth off a low-key Rosberg on the final lap. That means Hamilton has cut the gap to Rosberg in the championship to 24 points. Carlos Sainz Jr., Jenson Button and Felipe Massa completed the top 10.

Sauber asked Felipe Nasr to cede position to team-mate Marcus Ericsson but the Brazilian questioned the decision. Ericsson then tried a move at Rascasse and the two cars collided, resulting in both retiring soon afterward.

Max Verstappen, winner of the previous race in Spain, fought his way up into the points after starting from the pitlane but crashed at Massenet – his third crash of the weekend.

It was a tough race for Renault, with Jolyon Palmer crashing when he lost grip on the pits straight kink as the race began and Kevin Magnussen hitting the barrier at Mirabeau.

Magnussen had previously collided with Daniil Kvyat at Rascasse, with Kvyat later retiring, having been a lap down after suffering a problem with his steering wheel at the start.

RESULTS - 78 LAPS:

PosDriverCarGap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h59m29.133s
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 7.252s
3 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 13.825s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 15.846s
5 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m25.076s
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m32.999s
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m33.290s
8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1 Lap
9 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
12 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 2 Laps
14 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 2 Laps
15 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 2 Laps
- Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari Retirement
- Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari Retirement
- Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault Retirement
- Kevin Magnussen Renault Retirement
- Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari Retirement
- Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Retirement
- Jolyon Palmer Renault Retirement

DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP

PosDriverPoints
1 Nico Rosberg 106
2 Lewis Hamilton 82
3 Daniel Ricciardo 66
4 Kimi Raikkonen 61
5 Sebastian Vettel 60
6 Max Verstappen 38
7 Felipe Massa 37
8 Valtteri Bottas 29
9 Sergio Perez 23
10 Daniil Kvyat 22
11 Romain Grosjean 22
12 Fernando Alonso 18
13 Carlos Sainz 16
14 Nico Hulkenberg 14
15 Kevin Magnussen 6
16 Jenson Button 5
17 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
18 Esteban Gutierrez 0
19 Jolyon Palmer 0
20 Marcus Ericsson 0
21 Pascal Wehrlein 0
22 Felipe Nasr 0
23 Rio Haryanto 0

CONSTRUCTORS' CHAMPIONSHIP

PosConstructorPoints
1 Mercedes 188
2 Ferrari 121
3 Red Bull/Renault 112
4 Williams/Mercedes 66
5 Force India/Mercedes 37
6 Toro Rosso/Ferrari 30
7 McLaren/Honda 24
8 Haas/Ferrari 22
9 Renault 6
10 Sauber/Ferrari 0
11 Manor/Mercedes 0
   
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

Originally on Autosport.com

1911 First turn

Over 99 runnings, the Indianapolis 500 has become the most famous event in motorsport. That iconic status is built on a bedrock of hundreds of small stories, and to celebrate the centennial race, RACER.com has asked some of the people who are part of Indy's fabric to share a few of those stories with us. Check back every day between now and race day for a new 'Indy Diary' entry.

Indianapolis, 1911: The prospect of a $27,550 purse drew well almost 50 entries for the new 500 mile race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That was whittled down to an eventual field of 40, and a grid set by the order in which entry forms were posted. There was tragedy: Sam Dickson, riding mechanic for Arthur Greiner, was killed in a crash at Turn 2 on the 12th lap. There was controversy: some reports suggest that the results were initially protested at the end of the race: And when it was all over, Ray Harroun, an engineer with the Marmon Motor Company, was declared the winner and set into motion the beginnings of a legacy that 33 drivers will be looking to carry on when they take the green flag later today.

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Red Bull and Toro Rosso have signed deals to run Renault Formula 1 engines for 2017 and 2018. Both teams will run the latest specification power unit and be free to badge it as they wish.

"We are delighted to extend our partnership which has proved very successful over time," said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. "After the reconstruction that Renault has undertaken, clear progress has been made which has made it logical to continue with the TAG Heuer-badged engine."

President of Renault Sport Racing Jerome Stoll added: "We are very pleased to partner with two such strong teams as Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso. Having competitive partners demonstrates the confidence both have in the improved Renault power unit and in our organization as a whole."

Red Bull's renegotiated contract with Renault to run engines badged as TAG Heuer was due to expire at the end of this year. However, Horner told Autosport on Friday he expected a renewal to be "a formality."

Toro Rosso swapped from Renault to Ferrari power this year but ran a 2015-spec engine and boss Franz Tost was keen for its next deal to be for current spec. Red Bull has run Renault power since 2007, winning four drivers' and constructors' championships and 51 grands prix. Toro Rosso had Renault power units for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

 

Originally on Autosport.com

1991 Willy T Ribbs IMSTwenty-five years after Willy T. Ribbs broke the color barrier at the Indy 500, RACER spoke with the retired open-wheel and sports car ace about the 1991 race, his views on its impact, Ribbs' life today, and whether the recent scandal involving former sponsor Bill Cosby has altered their relationship.

"I thought I was going to stop traveling when I quit racing," Ribbs said of supporting his son Theo, a top marksman and competitive skeet shooter. "I'm traveling more now than ever. Theo's top five in the world. He is incredible. Tony Parella of SVRA, he is one of Theo's sponsors. And it is a good deal. And I will do anything for Tony. That [vintage] race he has at Indy every year, I told Tony 'I'll be in there when you want as long as you want.'"

As a byproduct of being the first African-American to race in the Indy 500, Ribbs hoped to see more drivers of a darker hue follow in his footsteps, just as he credited his hero and stock car driver Joie Ray for inspiring him to pursue his dreams. A quarter century later, Ribbs says Indy has succeeded in becoming more gender neutral, but that's all.

imsc4542"The biggest difference is that there have been nine women that have competed in the Indianapolis 500," he continued. "That's history. There's been two African-Americans. And [George Mack] only did it once and I was there twice. It really shows that the sport has really gone nowhere in terms of its ... not 'diversity', that's a broad term ... it's gone nowhere in this country as a series for all Americans to enjoy."

Ribbs points to three-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton as the beacon for what is possible in IndyCar.

"You look at Lewis Hamilton today, for example. When I tested Bernie Ecclestone's Formula 1 car in Estoril, Portugal in 1985, that was the year that Lewis Hamilton was born. That puts it all into perspective," he said.

"You look at Lewis, what he has done for the sport of Formula 1 in terms of its market value and the image of Formula 1, how great it looks. And Bernie Ecclestone wants that for his sport. My question is: does IndyCar want it for their sport?"

Widening IndyCar's appeal to more than its traditional base is, in Ribbs' estimation, key to restoring its popularity.

"If they can't see it by looking in the stands and if they can't see it by looking at their rating numbers, then they are totally ignorant and should not be in the position that they are in," he said of the series' leadership. "The sponsors of the sport should be looking at the same picture. They should be looking into the stands. They should be looking at their TV numbers and be able to get it figured out. They couldn't be that dumb.

"Right now IndyCar ... IndyCar can't pay people to watch it. I saw the numbers from Long Beach. That, to me, after 25 years, is probably the most glaring observation."

In light of the more sensitive times we live in, Ribbs was asked whether the racial-tinged humor that took place between himself and his former employer Dan Gurney at Indy in 1991 would even be possible to carry out today.

"Well, the PC police in this country and a lot of the PC police are among the so-called mainstream media or liberal media, they need a job," he said of the odd gift exchange between the two. "Gurney would send me watermelon and fried chicken, and I'm sending him back a jar of mayonnaise. If the PC police feel that in their mind they don't like or feel it is appropriate in their mind, then they are going to attack.

"Look, I've known Dan my whole life. I know the man who I raced for and he was a mentor to me. When it came to being fair and equal and putting me on a level playing field, it was Dan Gurney. What Dan knew is I could win. And I won for him. That was Dan's number one priority, was to win.

"And then after when we were going to have the greatest champagne parties in restaurants - I mean, we shut down three restaurants one time. I mean, they had to close it down to clean the place up because there was champagne everywhere. It was very 'family'. I'm still close to members of All American Racers to this day. We had fun with each other back then, and if people didn't like it, or don't like it today, they can kiss my ..."

Ribbs will also be the subject of a new documentary produced by Adam Carolla's team in 2017, to which Willy T says, "It's going to be huge, it's going to be amazing, as my old buddy Donald Trump would say."

Willy T Ribbs Cosby 1990 Raynor Press KitEver the rebel, and rarely concerned with taking the popular viewpoint, Ribbs' loyal nature hasn't changed in reaction to the troubling charges against Bill Cosby, who backed Ribb's 1991 Indy entry. Most people would distance themselves from the alleged and accused sexual predator, but Ribbs' ride-or-die mentality won't allow that to happen.

"I'm really glad you asked, because in the last five years, that is one of the biggest changes from the standpoint in my life that is directly related to Indy. It was his money that put me in Indy. Without Cosby I would not have been there in 1991," he said.

"I'm going to back Mr. Cosby. I'm going to support him. I've never bolted from a fight. Or from backing someone who backed me. I know the kind of person he has been to me and to my family. Being a single father, his wife, Camille, helped me feed my kids when I was out of racing. I haven't forgotten that and I will never will. I'm not that way. I've never been that kind of person. I will fight for those who have fought for me."

2005 Wheldon LATOn Sunday, one of the cars in Gasoline Alley is going to be wheeled out onto the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and race 500 miles into Victory Lane. Since 1911, 99 cars have made that same journey - and here they are.

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Oriol Hinch 2016 SPM by PruettFive years ago, James Hinchcliffe was an Indy 500 rookie learning from Newman/Haas Racing teammate Oriol Servia (below). With the CART and Champ Car veteran playing the role of mentor to the young Canadian, the duo formed an effective partnership in 2011 and Hinchcliffe went on to amplify the successful Andretti Autosport program the following year.

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Three race wins later, Hinch was on the move in 2015 to lead Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, and with this year's triumphant return to Indy after his devastating crash, he's not only won pole position for Sunday's race, but he's also been reunited with his old friend Servia who joined SPM for the month of May.

Orio Hinch 2011 NHR by Pruett"In a lot of ways, the foundation of everything I've learned since that point started with him," Hinchcliffe told RACER. "For me, one of the big validations of that was the second day of practice here. He and I came in, downloaded our thoughts to our engineers individually, then did our group debrief, and it was like you took the words out of my mouth and put them in his, and vice versa. I credit him a lot on how my feel developed on an oval in an Indy car. I credit Andretti a lot, too, but it all started at this track with this guy."

Five years after schooling the 500 newcomer, Servia says he's proud to see him develop into an IndyCar championship contender.

"He actually forgot all he knew," Servia said with a wry smile, which caused Hinchcliffe to break into a deep laugh. "He's actually doing quite well. I don't think he's any faster from when he was a rookie, because he's already fast, but what I feel is he's more confident. Not in his driving, but in what he wants from the car and how to deliver the message to the engineers, which happens with experience. He had great schooling at Andretti and has taken it here and done very well. It makes an old man feel proud."

Hinch also poked fun at Servia, who recently achieved a long-held dream of driving for Roger Penske when he subbed for the injured Will Power at St. Petersburg.

"He grew up to be a Penske driver, so he's big time now," he added.

"It's true, it's true," Servia replied. "Joking aside, it felt like we hit the ground running. When you come into a new team, you never know how the communication will be, if he's going to be open or not, and there wasn't any of that from the first second. This has been really good."

Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull are set to be the first teams to run Pirelli's 2017-spec Formula 1 tires when testing begins in August.

Pirelli offered a first glimpse of the 2017 tires when it unveiled a prototype of the rubber on a showcar in the Monaco paddock on Saturday (above). The tires are 25 percent wider than the current designs overall, with a 60mm increase to 305mm at the front and a 80mm jump to 405mm at the rear. Pirelli has also adjusted the shape to increase the contact patch and provide more mechanical grip.

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The Italian manufacturer has been using pre-2015 cars to do conceptual work on current-sized tires. It will run its 2017 prototypes for the first time in August once the teams have supplied a '15 car for modification, so it can simulate next year's downforce levels. Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull are in a position to do so but it is not yet clear whether something can be fixed in time for the other two teams that previously offered to assist Pirelli – Williams and Force India – to take part initially.

"The time is the big challenge because we have little time to develop not only the new construction but all the compounds," said Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola. "We will start soon to test on track with teams that are able to provide 2015 modified car – Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull. We have already started to make our calculation on models and indoor testing on prototypes."

Isola said Pirelli is working toward five compounds for next season but that could change as development progresses.

"The plan at the moment is to stay with five compounds but we will see what happens with development," he said. "If the regulation stays as it is with three compounds for each race we have to consider if five is the right number or if we need to increase or not."

Teams received the first model of the 2017 size nearly two months ago, but it was just a simple prototype so they could start making calculations.

The plan is to begin 2017 tire testing in August with further tests planned for between the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix. Pirelli is hopeful it can test in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year because it will provide favorable conditions. It hopes to have the final spec of tire completed by November.

Originally on Autosport.com

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