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26-car grid limit; Beatriz in at D&R; Rahal/Schmidt Indy deal

"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a very special place and we have always taken great pride in performing well there,” said Sam Schmidt. "Having the chance to work with a team like Rahal Letterman Lanigan gives us even more reason to be optimistic about our chances for success.

"Jay Howard is a very talented driver and we look forward to a promising month of May."

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has formidable IndyCar experience including an Indy 500 win with Buddy Rice in 2004, but the team has been out of IndyCar since the end of 2008 preferring to concentrate on the American Le Mans Series GT, but fielded Oriol Servia and Graham Rahal in the Indy 500 in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

"Between Sam's team and ours, we have the experience, knowledge and ability to provide an entry that will allow Jay to show his skills," said Bobby Rahal. "I think Jay has always been right on the brink of breaking through in IndyCar racing and our plan is to provide him with everything he needs to take that next step."

Servia, Hinchcliffe to test with Newman/Haas

Familiar IndyCar/Champ Car veteran Oriol Servia and A1 GP/Firestone Indy Lights driver James Hinchcliffe are to test with Newman/Haas Racing racing next week, during the first official 'open' pre-season test session being held by IndyCar at Barber Motorsports Park.

Both drivers have run previous tests with the team, and Hinchcliffe made two testing appearances at Sebring International Raceway.

"The rookie class for 2011 is looking super strong," said Hinchcliffe on Monday. "With guys like JR (Hildebrand) and Charlie (Kimball) and now Bia (Ana Beatriz) getting a ride it's shaping up to be a great race for Rookie Of The Year. I am just working as hard as I can to make sure that come [season opener] St. Pete I am in a Newman/Haas Racing car so we can add our name to that fight."

Running two drivers at the test is being seen as a strong indication that Newman/Haas is preparing to run two cars in the 2011 IndyCar championship.

Mann's Conquest test success

Pippa Mann's bid to secure the vacant seat at Conquest ahead of the likes of veteran Paul Tracy and Indy Lights champion Jean-Karl Vernay got a boost with a successful test with the team at Texas Motor Speedway last week.

Despite a fuel pump issue, Mann got nearly a full day's running with the team and received praise from Eric Bachelart, the team boss at Conquest: "Pippa quickly got up to speed and was setting competitive lap times early on and that isn't always the case for someone turning their first laps in an IndyCar.

"She did a really great job and provided really good feedback to the team, which helped us to make some changes and make the car even better balanced and faster. Overall I'm very pleased with how the day went and with what we were able to accomplish."




Related Pictures

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15-21 MAY, 2010, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA #25 Ipiranga Deryer & Reinbold Racing`s Ana Beatriz
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
Confetti falls on the podium trio Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power wheel-to-wheel with Graham Rahal (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon spins during practice (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon streaks across the start/finish line during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon crosses the start/finish line during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon leaves pit lane (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
The confetti flies as Scott Dixon celebrates winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon takes the twin chequered flags to win the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates his win in Victory Circle after the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon and the #9 Target Chip Ganassi team celebrate after the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon poses with the trophies after the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud on the podium after the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon toasts his success in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The confetti flies as Scott Dixon celebrates winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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