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Notes: Limited appeal; Tung back; Infineon testing
19 August 2011
News about the New Hampshire result appeal, plus team news from Dragon Racing and KV Racing Technology and some headline times from thsi week's IndyCar testing at Infineon Raceway at Sears Point in Sonoma, California.
New Hampshire appeal will only affect top three
According to reports from SPEED TV, the protest over the results of last weekend's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is limited to affecting only the top three positions.
Newman/Haas Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing have both protested the result, claiming that the finishing order should be taken from the moment the yellow came out after the controversial final brief restart. The restart saw Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay lose the lead to Newman/Haas' Oriol Servia and Ganassi's Scott Dixon before a crash sparked by Danica Patrick sent the race back to yellow. In a controversial decision, Brian Barnhart ruled that the race result would be taken from the running order prior to the final green flag which meant Hunter-Reay kept the lead. The protest will be heard by an independent panel in Indianapolis next week.
But if the reports from SPEEDTV.com are correct, then even if the current results are overturned and Servia is handed the win and Dixon gains second place, the ruling will have no further impact further down the running order.
Will Power had looked set to be a big loser if the results were rewritten as he was one of those wiped out in the restart crash and ended up well down the running order before the positions were controversially "wound back" to before the restart. Now it appears that even if the protest succeeds, Power will hold on to fifth place which means he gains on Dario Franchitti in the points standings.
Ho-Pin Tung bids for IndyCar debut
Chinese racer Ho-Pin Tung is making his second bid to get onto the grid of an IZOD IndyCar Series race this season, re-teaming with Dragon Racing at Infineon Raceway next weekend.
Tung paired with Dragon for the Indianapolis 500 in May, but the team's campaign proved ill-starred with Tung injured in a qualifying day crash, and stand-in driver Patrick Carpentier then crashed the sole remaining car early on Bump Day which left the team unable to even attempt to make the grid.
However, Tung's approach, pace and performance throughout the practice week at Indy impressed many in the paddock and the team have given him the nod to hopefully make his series debut at the Sonoma road course. He took part in the IndyCar test session at Infineon on Thursday in preparation for next weekend.
Regular driver Paul Tracy will instead race in the series finale World Championships event in Las Vegas in mid-October.
IndyCar tests at Infineon
Ho-Pin Tung was among 20 IndyCar drivers testing at Infineon Raceway on Thursday, including the first appearance of former F1 driver and GP2 champion Giorgio Pantano in Justin Wilson's #22 Dreyer & Reinbold car.
While full times were not released, indycar.com reported that Will Power topped the timesheets at the end of the day's running with a lap of 1:19.04s ahead of Scott Dixon (1:19.49s) and Dario Franchitti (1:19.60s).
Ryan Hunter-Reay came next with 1:19.77s ahead of EJ Viso (1:19.79s), with Pantano putting in a matching time on the 12-turn, 2.303-mile course.
Kanaan and engineer part company
Tony Kanaan has parted company with his race engineer Michael Cannon.
The split comes despite some impressive on-track performances of late, which have included a strong run at Milwaukee and third place at last week's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Cannon joined KV Racing Technology at the start of the season, having previously been with HVM engineering the car of Simona de Silvestro.
"It wasn't any one incident," said KVRT general manager Mark Johnson. "The deal came together late and there just wasn't any chemistry there so we made a change."
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