IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2005-06-21

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- June 21, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. Enge's hopes fade at Le Mans 2. Lazier to sub for Rutherford as pace car driver 3. Castroneves OK after testing incident 1. Enge's hopes fade at Le Mans: Everything...

INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- June 21, 2005

Today's IRL headlines
1. Enge's hopes fade at Le Mans
2. Lazier to sub for Rutherford as pace car driver
3. Castroneves OK after testing incident

1. Enge's hopes fade at Le Mans: Everything was looking up for Panther Racing driver Tomas Enge entering the 73rd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend.

He had qualified on the front row for the IndyCar Series Bombardier Learjet 500k at Texas Motor Speedway six days earlier and helped put the No. 58 Aston Martin Racing DBR9 on the pole for the GT1 class for the endurance race in France.

But in the final 90 minutes, thoughts of victory faded. While the sister car was in the pits repairing its radiator, Enge's was coasting to a halt on the track. Enge began to weave the car, highlighting the possibility of a fuel issue. Then he resorted to moving the car on its starter motor, but he was forced to retire.

Team Director David Richards said: "One must accept these things in motorsport. We gave it everything, but it wasn't to be this time."

Chevrolet Corvettes finished 1-2 in the GT1 class. Dane Tom Kristensen took an historic seventh victory, his sixth in a row, in the LM1 class. Kristensen's car, shared with J.J. Lehto and Marco Werner, worked itself into an early lead after the threat from the faster Pescarolo cars was put back by technical problems.

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2. Lazier to sub for Rutherford as pace car driver: IndyCar Series veteran Jaques Lazier will drive the Chevrolet SSR pace vehicle during this weekend's SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway.

Lazier, who captured the pole for the inaugural SunTrust Indy Challenge in 2001, is substituting for three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, who will miss this weekend's race so he can attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England this weekend.

The festival is honoring the 25th anniversary of Rutherford's 1980 Indianapolis 500 victory.

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3. Castroneves OK after testing incident: In preparation for the SunTrust Indy Challenge, Marlboro Team Penske's Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish Jr. participated in a one-day Toyota engine test at Richmond International Raceway June 17. They combined for 427 laps.

Near the end of the session, the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone made contact with the wall between Turns 1 and 2. Castroneves suffered a deep shoulder bruise but will compete in the June 25 race.

"I'm not sure what happened, but the car went straight while exiting Turn 1," said Castroneves, who finished fifth in the Bombardier Learjet 500k on June 11 at Texas Motor Speedway. "It was an unfortunate way for us to end the day as the test was going quite well.

"On the positive side, both Sam and I seem to have good setups, and I'm looking forward to returning to Richmond."

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The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 25 at Richmond International Raceway. The race will be telecast by ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. The race also will be available on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 "XM Extreme." The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the Cleanevent 100 on July 16 at Nashville Superspeedway. It will be telecast at 3 p.m. (EDT) July 21 by ESPN2.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Enge , Tom Kristensen , J.J. Lehto , Helio Castroneves , Marco Werner , David Richards , Sam Hornish Jr. , Johnny Rutherford , Jaques Lazier
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Aston Martin Racing