Four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais will contest a limited IndyCar schedule with AJ Foyt Racing in 2020, sharing a car with outgoing veteran Tony Kanaan and rookie Dalton Kellett.
Bourdais, whose main campaign this year is in the IMSA SportsCar Championship with JDC-Miller Motorsports after he lost his IndyCar drive at Dale Coyne Racing, will drive Foyt’s #14 car at the opening round at St Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach and Portland.
One-time Indianapolis 500 winner and 2004 series champion Kanaan will step back from regular IndyCar competition at the end of the season after a five-race all-oval programme that includes the Indy 500, with Indy Lights graduate Kellett entered in the remaining eight races, commencing at COTA on April 26.
Kellett, who took pole for the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year, will also enter the Indy 500 in a third Foyt machine.
It comes after Charlie Kimball was announced for the full season in Foyt’s #4 car, replacing Matheus Leist.
Bourdais said: “I am such a lucky man, starting my Indycar career driving for Paul Newman and Carl Haas, and now I get to drive for AJ Foyt.
“I am both honoured and thankful for the opportunity Larry and his team have provided me with.
“Staying in the IndyCar Series seemed like a long shot back in November.
“My teammates and I will be working very hard to deliver the results this organisation deserves, and I can’t wait for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to come.”
Team president Larry Foyt said changes were “inevitable” after a disappointing season for Kanaan and fellow Brazilian Leist, managing just five top 10 finishes between them and one podium for Kanaan at Gateway.
“I believe adding a multi-time champion like Sebastien Bourdais to our team will help us as we regroup and work to regain a competitive position,” said Foyt.
“Being able to retain Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan is another source of excitement and will serve to push our oval program to a place where we can fight for victories.
“Dalton Kellett is a young driver who is intelligent and motivated, and with the experience around him, we feel he has the potential to show great things.
“Altogether, the #14 car has an intriguing lineup, and I’m excited to see how it plays out.”
Published at Tue, 04 Feb 2020 20:13:08 +0000
Aprilia MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone’s doping case was heard by the International Disciplinary Court on Tuesday, but no verdict has yet been reached.
Iannone tested positive for a steroid during the Sepang weekend of the 2019 MotoGP season, and a provisional suspension was announced the following month, on December 17.
Iannone said the finding had come as a surprise, and requested the analysis of his B sample, but this likewise came up positive, as the FIM’s statement has now confirmed.
However, Iannone’s suspension remains provisional as no final judgment has yet been rendered regarding his case.
“Following a routine In-Competition doping test conducted at the round of the FIM Grand Prix World Championship held in Sepang, Malaysia on 3 November 2019, Mr Andrea Iannone tested positive for a WADA prohibited substance and is now provisionally suspended since 17 December 2019,” the FIM’s statement read.
“Mr Andrea Iannone requested analysis of his B sample which also confirmed the result of the A sample analysis.
“The proceeding is still ongoing until a CDI decision is rendered. Mr Andrea Iannone remains provisionally suspended until then and is therefore barred from participating in any motorcycling competition or related activity until further notice.
“Under the World Anti-Doping Code and the FIM Anti-Doping Code, the FIM is unable to provide any additional information at this time.”
According to Italian media, the final verdict will be rendered no sooner than in 10 days’ time.
It has also been reported that the case from Iannone’s defence rests on results of hair sample tests, which allegedly showed no trace of steroids from September 2019 onwards – with contaminated food blamed for the adverse findings in the urine samples.
As the provisional suspension remains upheld, Iannone will not participate in the first MotoGP pre-season test in Sepang this week.
Test rider Bradley Smith is expected to replace Iannone alongside Aleix Espargaro in Aprilia’s roster in the Sepang test, while it had also called upon the services of ex-World Superbike man Lorenzo Savadori in the preceding three-day shakedown at the same venue.
Published at Tue, 04 Feb 2020 19:52:23 +0000