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 H7I4972Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has dismissed suggestions Lewis Hamilton deliberately attempted to back up teammate Nico Rosberg towards Formula 1 rival Daniel Ricciardo during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

At last year's Chinese GP, Rosberg felt Hamilton hampered his race chances by unnecessarily backing him up into Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

At the Hungaroring, Hamilton again controlled the pace at the front, to such an extent he was warned over the radio to pick up his pace otherwise Rosberg would pit first at the second stop to ward off the challenge from Ricciardo.

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Despite arguing he was driving to the best of his ability, Hamilton soon found pace, allowing Rosberg to also push and ensuring the duo finished 1-2.

Wolff said: "I don't think he was backing him up at all. I'm sure he didn't want to back him up. The whole weekend we discussed with them the need to be very cautious on the tires. When you hear the constant messaging 'the tires might not last,' you want to manage them.

"They managed them very well in the first stint on the super-softs, and then we bolted on the softs and we didn't have any experience on those tires.

"He [Hamilton] over-managed it probably. He had everything under control, he knew Nico was behind and didn't realize the train was approaching fast. There was a different strategy behind him, so I guess he didn't have the complete picture. For him it looked OK, that's why he just took it easy.

"He was really cautious in looking after the tires, and this is what he said."

Hamilton said his actions were not meant to hamper Rosberg.

"If I'd pushed harder at the beginning then maybe I wouldn't have got to the end the way I needed," he said. "I was turning my engine up and down, managing it as much as I needed to. I wasn't backing Nico up. He was quick enough to close the gap if he really wanted to and challenge, but shortly after that [the radio message] I was able to pick up pace and still really go for it."

Rosberg felt Hamilton did drive "over-cautiously," but did not go as far as what unfolded in China.

"I was just fully focused forwards," said Rosberg. "I'm happy the pace was slow because I was trying to put the pressure on him and trying to get some mistakes going from him. I did everything I could to force the mistakes, but there was not enough to get by."

Originally on Autosport.com

Nurburgring WEC 2016

Reigning World Endurance champions Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley notched up their first victory of the 2016 season at the Nurburgring.

Their Porsche 919 Hybrid crossed the line with Bernhard at the wheel nearly a minute clear of the best of the Audi R18 e-tron quattros shared by Oliver Jarvis, Lucas di Grassi and Loic Duval in second place.

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The latest high-downforce versions of the respective LMP1 challengers from Porsche and Audi looked equally matched early in the race.

Both Audis took turns in the lead during the opening hours, but Porsche began to take a grip on the race from shortly before half distance.

The second 919 shared by championship leaders Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas held a narrow lead over its sister car until early in the fifth hour when Lieb tangled with a backmarker. Time was lost changing the nose, but Jani was back in the lead with an hour and half to go before having to take a drivethrough for avoidable contact. That put him behind Duval, who held him up sufficiently for Lotterer to catch and then pass the Porsche at the second attempt.

Jani sustained rear-end damage when he was tagged by a slower car as Lotterer made his first passing bid, which resulted in an unscheduled stop to replace bodywork.

Lotterer, who shared the #7 Audi with only Marcel Fassler in the absence of the injured Benoit Treluyer, finished on the tail of his teammate in third.

Jani crossed the line in fourth, still well clear of the two Toyotas in fifth and sixth positions.

The Signatech Alpine squad made it a hat-trick of LMP2 wins following its victories at the Spa round in May and last month's Le Mans 24 Hours. Nicolas Lapierre, Stephane Richelmi and Gustavo Menezes triumphed by 16s aboard their Alpine-badged ORECA-Nissan 05.

Second place went to the RGR Sport Ligier-Nissan JSP2 shared by Filipe Albuquerque, Bruno Senna and Ricardo Gonzalez.

The pole-winning G-Drive ORECA led for most of the opening couple of hours in the hands of Rene Rast and then Alex Brundle before transmission problems put it out of the race in hour three.

Ferrari finished one-two in GTE Pro, Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado's AF Corse-run 488 GTE leading home the sister car of Sam Bird and Davide Rigon by half a minute.

Aston Martin led the class for much of the race with the Vantage GTE shared by Nicki Thiim and Marcos Sorensen.

The Danish trio looked on course for second before losing time when they made their final pitstop under green-flag conditions rather than the full course yellows of their rivals.

Thiim dropped to fourth, but moved back into the podium positions when the third-placed Ganassi Ford GT of Stefan Mucke and Olivier Pla had to take a drivethrough penalty for a pitstop infringement.

Aston won GTE Am with the Vantage shared by Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana.

RESULTS - 194 LAPS:

PosClassDriverTeamCarGap
1 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 6h01m16.183s
2 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 53.787s
3 LMP1 M.Fassler, A.Lotterer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 54.483s
4 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb Porsche Team Porsche 1m37.324s
5 LMP1 A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 1 Lap
6 LMP1 S.Sarrazin, M.Conway, K.Kobayashi Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 4 Laps
7 LMP1 M.Tuscher, D.Kraihamer, A.Imperatori Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 16 Laps
8 LMP2 G.Menezes, N.Lapierre, S.Richelmi Signatech Alpine Alpine/Nissan 16 Laps
9 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, B.Senna, F.Albuquerque RGR Sport by Morand Ligier/Nissan 16 Laps
10 LMP2 R.Dalziel, L.Derani, C.Cumming Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/Nissan 18 Laps
11 LMP2 N.Leventis, L.Williamson, J.Kane Strakka Racing Gibson/Nissan 18 Laps
12 LMP2 T.Graves, A.Pizzonia, M.Howson Manor ORECA/Nissan 18 Laps
13 LMP2 V.Petrov, V.Shaytar, K.Ladygin SMP Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 19 Laps
14 LMP2 D.Cheng, H-Pin Tung, N.Panciatici Baxi DC Racing Alpine Alpine/Nissan 19 Laps
15 LMP2 N.Minassian, M.Mediani SMP Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 19 Laps
16 LMP2 S.Sharp, E.Brown, J.van Overbeek Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/Nissan 22 Laps
17 LMP1 N.Prost, N.Heidfeld, M.Beche Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 23 Laps
18 GTE Pro G.Bruni, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 24 Laps
19 GTE Pro D.Rigon, S.Bird AF Corse Ferrari 24 Laps
20 GTE Pro N.Thiim, M.Sorensen Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 24 Laps
21 GTE Pro S.Mucke, O.Pla Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 25 Laps
22 GTE Pro R.Stanaway, D.Turner Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 25 Laps
23 GTE Pro R.Lietz, M.Christensen Dempsey Racing - Proton Porsche 25 Laps
24 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 28 Laps
25 GTE Am C.Ried, W.Henzler, J.Camathias KCMG Porsche 28 Laps
26 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas AF Corse Ferrari 28 Laps
27 GTE Am Y.Yamagishi, P.Ragues, P.Ruberti Larbre Competition Chevrolet 29 Laps
28 GTE Am K.Al Qubaisi, D.Hansson, P.Long Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 30 Laps
29 GTE Am M.Wainwright, A.Carroll, B.Barker Gulf Racing UK Porsche 30 Laps
30 GTE Pro M.Franchitti, A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 39 Laps
- LMP2 M.Rao, R.Bradley, R.Merhi Manor ORECA/Nissan Retirement
- LMP1 S.Trummer, O.Webb, P.Kaffer ByKOLLES Racing Team CLM/AER Retirement
- LMP2 R.Rusinov, R.Rast, A.Brundle G-Drive Racing ORECA/Nissan Retirement

 

Originally on Autosport.com

Esteban Gutierrez

Esteban Gutierrez has accused Lewis Hamilton of being "disrespectful" after receiving an abusive hand gesture from the Formula 1 world champion during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

While Hamilton was leading the Hungaroring race with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg closing, the Briton was held up at one stage by Haas driver Gutierrez.

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As Hamilton finally passed Gutierrez at the top of the main straight he delivered what appeared to be a middle-finger salute to underline his unhappiness at being held up.

Informed of Hamilton's action, Gutierrez said: "Not a very respectful move from him I have to say. I have spoken to him in the past. I think he is respectful, he is the world champion, but he shouldn't do these kinds of things.

"He should respect all of the competitors. You never know, maybe in the future I will be fighting for a championship with him, so he has to respect that."

Gutierrez later tweeted his disappointment, adding: "Being a world champion doesn't give you the right to be disrespectful to your competitors, my friend."

Gutierrez received a five-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags, to which he responded: "I didn't ignore them! I simply had two aeroplanes coming from behind, coming very quickly! Of course, I was focused on my race, they came very quickly and I was trying to find the safest place to let them by.

"I've no comment on the penalty. As I say, I was aware of the blue flags, but I was really looking for the safest place to let them by."

Hamilton argued his gesture was not a rude one and he was just waving his hand in frustration.

"I lost so much time behind him, and at the same time Nico was catching me, which was really, really tough," he said. "I may have wanted to do that [middle finger], but I didn't."

Haas team principal Gunther Steiner felt Hamilton's gesture influenced the stewards and played a part in the penalty.

"I don't know what he was annoyed about because he didn't keep him back that long," said Steiner. "Esteban got penalized five seconds, and that was because the gesture was done because he was holding him up. The five-second penalty didn't change Esteban's result, and the hold up didn't change anything with Lewis' result, so it [the penalty] wasn't needed.

"We will check the data and do a proper evaluation to see how long other people were ignoring blue flags. Maybe somebody else ignored blue flags longer, but because Lewis Hamilton didn't give them a gesture maybe that guy wasn't penalized.

"It's difficult for the stewards because it's a judgement call, not only numbers."

Originally on Autosport.com

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying 2016

Lewis Hamilton believes the Formula 1 stewards' failure to penalize Nico Rosberg after Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying sends a worrying message about yellow flag abuse to drivers in junior categories.

Rosberg kept his Hungaroring pole by demonstrating to the officials he had lifted adequately under the double waved yellows for Fernando Alonso's spin at the end of Q3.

Hamilton encountered the McLaren as the incident happened so had to back right off, costing him pole.

After beating Rosberg to race victory, Hamilton said he was still concerned about the implications of his Mercedes teammate going unpunished.

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"If it is double yellow flag, you have to be prepared to stop," he said. "Nico was doing the same speed at the apex as I was doing on the previous lap, so if there happened to be a car that was slowing or a marshal on the track, it would have been pretty hard for him to slow down.

"The fact he didn't get penalized means we have to be careful because the message we are sending to drivers here, but also to the drivers in the lower categories, is it's now possible for you to lose only one tenth of a second in the double waved yellow flag section, which is one of the most dangerous scenarios.

"Before it was two tenths you're supposed to lose with one yellow flag and half a second with two yellow flags. Going into the next race, we could be battling for pole position and we see double yellow flags and we know we only have to do a small lift, only lose one tenth of a second and we'll be fine, and go purple in the sector."

Rosberg argued he had done enough to safely acknowledge the yellows.

"What you have to do with double yellow is significantly reduce your speed," he said.

"I went 20km/h (12mph) slower into that corner, 20km/h is a different world in an F1 car – you're going proper slow. Everything is safe. I lifted off 30 meters (about 100 feet) before my braking point, I was just rolling there 20km/h slower until I got to the apex. I had a much tighter line as I went in slow so I could accelerate out again.

"It was a pretty clear case for the stewards and that's why I didn't get any penalty."

He added that the fact the track was drying throughout qualifying made comparisons with previous laps "irrelevant."

"You're going to get massively quicker every lap," Rosberg said. "It's not like a track that is consistent."

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo said the argument raised an issue drivers "have been wanting to discuss further for a long time."

He added: "On a single yellow, people are getting away with a micro lift and show stewards they slowed down when they didn't really. A double yellow is something significant. The double yellow needs to be very different to a single yellow. I guess that's what we're not too pleased with at the moment."

Originally on Autosport.com

Lewis Hamilton captured his fifth Hungarian Grand Prix victory to claim the lead in the 2016 Formula 1 world championship for the first time.

From second on the grid behind pole-sitting Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, Hamilton took the lead into the first corner and controlled the race from there. His fifth victory in six races means he has turned a 43-point deficit into a six-point lead in that time.

Rosberg had to settle for runner-up, 1.9 seconds behind, with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo just managing to hold off Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari for the final podium spot. Ricciardo's teammate Max Verstappen did the same to the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen in a scrap so close the Finn clipped the Dutchman's car at one stage.

hungarian startNeither Mercedes had made a supreme getaway from the front row and the Red Bulls both attacked. Ricciardo nosed ahead around the outside but Hamilton kept both the Australian and Verstappen's inside line attack at bay. Rosberg then repassed Ricciardo around the outside of Turn 2.

At first the Red Bulls stayed close to the Mercedes, with Verstappen complaining he was "driving like a grandma" behind Ricciardo.

But he the main loser in the first round of stops, dropping behind Vettel as Ferrari used an undercut and also Raikkonen, who started 14th on softs and ran 29 laps in his first stint. The time spent behind the Finn left Verstappen out of the podium fight.

Just before the midway point Hamilton was warned by his team to pick up the pace otherwise Rosberg would pit first at the second round of stops to fend off the threat being posed by Ricciardo.

"I'm driving to the best of my ability," responded Hamilton, who then managed a surge to put 2.8s between himself and Rosberg.

It was enough for Hamilton to take precedence as another set of softs was fitted after 41 laps, with Rosberg following a lap later, and both stayed ahead of the early-stopping Ricciardo.

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On lap 53 of 70, with Hamilton held up by the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez – earning the Mexican a middle-finger salute from the Briton when he finally passed and a five-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags – Rosberg closed to 0.6s.

Hamilton then edged away, only for the gap to fall to 0.6s again after 62 laps following a small lock-up at Turn 12, but it was as close as Rosberg managed to get.

Vettel steadily closed in on Ricciardo for third to no avail, while Raikkonen found himself chasing Verstappen as their alternate strategies played out, attacking repeatedly on fresh super-softs but ended up frustrated.

Behind the top six was McLaren's Fernando Alonso, followed by the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr., Williams's Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg for Force India.

McLaren's Jenson Button was the only retirement after a miserable race including an early loss of hydraulic pressure affecting his brakes, a drive-through penalty for unauthorised radio communication while addressing the problem and finally an oil leak.

RESULTS - 70 LAPS:

PosDriverCarGap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h40m30.115s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.977s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 27.539s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 28.213s
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 48.659s
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 49.044s
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1 Lap
9 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
11 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
12 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1 Lap
13 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1 Lap
16 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1 Lap
17 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
18 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 2 Laps
19 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 2 Laps
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2 Laps
21 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 2 Laps
- Jenson Button McLaren/Honda Retirement

DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP

PosDriverPoints
1 Lewis Hamilton 192
2 Nico Rosberg 186
3 Daniel Ricciardo 115
4 Kimi Raikkonen 114
5 Sebastian Vettel 110
6 Max Verstappen 100
7 Valtteri Bottas 56
8 Sergio Perez 47
9 Felipe Massa 38
10 Carlos Sainz 30
11 Romain Grosjean 28
12 Nico Hulkenberg 27
13 Fernando Alonso 24
14 Daniil Kvyat 23
15 Jenson Button 13
16 Kevin Magnussen 6
17 Pascal Wehrlein 1
18 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
19 Esteban Gutierrez 0
20 Jolyon Palmer 0
21 Marcus Ericsson 0
22 Felipe Nasr 0
23 Rio Haryanto 0

CONSTRUCTORS' CHAMPIONSHIP

PosConstructorPoints
1 Mercedes 378
2 Ferrari 224
3 Red Bull/Renault 223
4 Williams/Mercedes 94
5 Force India/Mercedes 74
6 Toro Rosso/Ferrari 45
7 McLaren/Honda 38
8 Haas/Ferrari 28
9 Renault 6
10 Manor/Mercedes 1
11 Sauber/Ferrari 0

 

 

Originally on Autosport.com

red bull picIn Hungary, Red Bull Racing first uses its monkey seat winglet under the rear wing.

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McLaren Ferrari aeroMcLaren and Ferrari both made changes to its front wing for the Hungary race.

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1RXP6796aaCorvette Racing made history on Saturday at Lime Rock as Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner secured the brand's 100th race win during the Northeast Grand Prix.

The 2h40min WeatherTech SportsCar championship event for IMSA's PC, GT Le Mans, and GT Daytona classes was an ugly mess from start to finish as minimal patience and respect ripped everything from bodywork to wheels from a few too many of the 31 cars on the grid.

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Those surprisingly low driving standards also benefited Corvette Racing, PC winners Renger van der Zande and Alex Popow from Starworks Motorsport, and GTD winners Andy Lally and John Potter from Magnus Racing, as their trips to Victory Lane were accelerated by avoiding the majority of the nonsense.

"Today the engineers did a magnificent job and had wonderful pit stops, but the drivers get my tip of the hat," Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan said. "100 wins? Who would've ever thought?"

With Gavin and Milner's No. 4 Corvette C7.R leading home the No. 3 C7.R driven by Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia, the team also earned is 60th 1-2 finish since the program made its ALMS debut in 1999.

"What a job today from everyone on this team," Milner added. "We had some great wins early on [this season], had some struggles for a while, but what a way to get 100. So special for the team."

imsa 28866148

The pole-sitting Ford GT driven by Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe, which was knocked off track on the opening lap by Toni Vilander in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari, benefitted from attrition and moved ahead of its assailant to take third in GTLM.


Contact was a constant presence in PC as the start was waved off twice due to hits and flying body panels, and frequent impacts ensured the win would be earned in a survival of the cleanest. Deft pit work by the Starworks team moved zan der Zande's No. 8 into the lead, and while the second-place No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen PC driven by Robert Alon and Tom Kimber-Smith appeared to have more pace, traffic management in the final minutes of the event made the difference.

"Alex [Popow] did a great job [to go] from P4 to P2 after getting hit in the start," the Dutchman said after taking his third win of the season. "In the pits the crew did a fantastic job to get me up front. It was a hell of a traffic job getting through the GTs, but it was fun."

Kyle Marcelli and James French completed the PC podium, albeit a lap down, for Performance Tech Motorsports.

GTD featured numerous teams that appeared to have an easy victory in sight, but the theme of the day shaped the final outcome as hits and misfortune positioned the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 to secure the team's second win of 2016.

lally

"We had the best car in the field, hands down," said Lally, who won the Rolex 24 At Daytona with Potter. "We put like 80 degrees of wing in the thing so we still had grip when the tires burned off. The Audi was amazing, but our guys did an amazing job to make this car fast."

Stevenson Motorsports' Robin Liddell made it an Audi 1-2 and Jeroen Bleekemolen, who took the lead thanks to an amazing pit stop by the Riley Motorsports team and lost the lead in the pits after stopping to have late-race damage repaired, salvaged third in GTD with his Dodge Viper.

From green to checkered flag, IMSA's officials showed little enthusiasm for managing the boorish behavior as it took place. The pending release of IMSA's point standings after Lime Rock could make for interesting reading to see whether, at least during a post-race review, some of the most egregious driving mistakes and overly aggressive moves are worthy of retroactive penalties.

Among the lowlights to consider, Misha Goikhberg triggered a caution at the 45-minute mark by attempting a low-percentage pass on the No. 23 Alex Job Porsche 911 GT3 R. Goikhberg's JDC/Miller Motorsports PC car spun and managed to take out Christina Nielsen's Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 in the process. His PC car retired on the spot; Nielsen was more fortunate and resumed after a visit to the pits cost the team two laps.

She and teammate Alessandro Balzan, who held a decent lead in the GTD standings prior to Lime Rock, weren't helped by finishing 11th in class on Saturday.

Porsche's No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR GTLM entry managed to crash both of BMW Team RLL's M6s out of the race at the same corner – Lime Rock's fastest turn – with both of its drivers.

Porsche's Fred Makowiecki, who drew the ire of Corvette Racing after derailing its 100th win at Long Beach, hit and spun John Edwards' No. 100 BMW M6 at the sweeping Turn 7 right-hander. Makowiecki, visiting Lime Rock for the first time and apparently unaware the corner is not conducive to running side-by-side at the apex, made contact with Edwards' right rear as the BMW driver was put in the position of having to turn in or fly off track. Both cars went sailing into the barriers, which ended the BMW's event. Makowiecki was able to make it back to the pits.

Incredibly, the same exact scenario, this time with Earl Bamber behind the wheel of the No. 912 Porsche, was replayed at the apex of Turn 7 as he hammered Dirk Werner in the No. 25 BMW M6. Where Makowiecki left Edwards with a choice of turning or crashing, Bamber attempted to give Werner a tiny bit of room at the last moment, but rode over the apex and bounced into the BMW's right-rear. Both cars flew into the same barriers that halted the 912 on its first visit and ended the race for both BMWs.

Werner climbed from his battered car, pulled open the passenger door on Bamber's tattered Porsche, and likely expressed something other than a friendly greeting.

IMSA now has time to ponder whether its decision to write off Makowiecki's original move as a "racing incident'" emboldened others – including his teammate – to try it later in the race, and if some of the other bad driving warrants an official response before the series returns at Road America on Aug. 4-7.

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