Notes: Four NTT IndyCar Series drivers racing at Le Mans

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Four drivers who have competed in NTT IndyCar Series races this season are taking part in the pinnacle of sports car racing this weekend, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. And a former INDYCAR driver put his entry on the provisional pole for the iconic endurance race.

Ben Hanley, whose DragonSpeed team entered the NTT IndyCar Series this season for a five-race schedule while continuing its sports car program, is the only current INDYCAR driver entered in the top class at Le Mans, LMP1. Hanley qualified the No. 10 entry seventh overall and in class following the third and final qualifying session Thursday night on the 8.5-mile course. Former INDYCAR driver Mike Conway put the No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1 on pole with a lap of 3 minutes, 15.497 seconds.

Hanley’s car is striking for its livery paying homage to the classic blue and orange colors of Gulf-sponsored entries that won three times at Le Mans.

"It's been an amazing two months for me and the team, running the Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours back to back,” Hanley said. “We're looking forward to the race after a tough start in testing and qualifying due to some electrical issues. We managed third-quickest time behind the Toyotas in the opening qualifying runs on Wednesday before the electrical gremlins hit, after which we didn't have a chance to take advantage of the much better track conditions in Q2 and Q3.

Ford GT Le Mans“The DragonSpeed crew have been brilliant and seem to have gotten on top of the problems by the end of (Thursday) night's session. We start the race seventh, with our eyes on a solid run and hoping to get some breaks from the gods of Le Mans along the way."

Scott Dixon and Sebastien Bourdais, each a multiple season champion in Indy car racing, returned to Le Mans as part of the Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT squad in the LMGTE Pro class. Dixon is a co-driver of the No. 69 Ford GT, along with former Indy car driver Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook, that qualified sixth in class and 34th overall. Teaming with Joey Hand and Dirk Muller – the group that won the class in the 2016 race – Bourdais’ No. 69 Ford GT qualified 10th in class and 38th overall.

Jordan King, who drove in last month’s Indianapolis 500 for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, is part of the three-driver team driving the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry at Le Mans. The car will start 12th in class and 20th overall in the 24-hour race that begins at 9 a.m. ET Saturday. MotorTrend TV will stream flag-to-flag coverage of the event.

Superhero Carpenter flies in to visit children

Ed Carpenter usually flies around a racetrack in his NTT IndyCar Series car. Earlier this week, the team owner/driver flew to the rescue at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in Indianapolis, donning a cape over his firesuit and bringing smiles to the faces of young patients during his visit.

The Indianapolis resident made the visit as part of the #BeTheHopeNOW campaign urging the public to become monthly donors to the Riley Children’s Foundation. In existence since 1924, Riley Hospital is one of the leading children’s hospitals in the nation and is home to the largest pediatric care research program in Indiana.

The faces of the children Carpenter visited say it all.

Yesterday, Riley Hero @EdCarpenter20 handed out capes to the real superheroes - the Riley Kids!

Unleash your superpower and become a Riley Hero, too! https://t.co/acbOvBqz84#BeTheHopeNOW pic.twitter.com/xvq2akJ9BV

Telitz returning with Belardi at Road America

A familiar face will be racing for Belardi Auto Racing at Road America during the INDYCAR weekend June 21-23.

Wisconsin native Aaron Telitz, who competed with the team at the Freedom 100 presented by Cooper Tires in May, will return to the No. 4 car for the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires doubleheader weekend at the road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

“I couldn’t be more excited to get a chance to drive in my home race with Belardi Auto Racing,” Telitz said. “I love Road America. All my friends, family and fans that come out will have a car to cheer for. I’m looking forward to a fun weekend and putting my No. 4 Endodontic Specialists of Wisconsin Belardi Auto Racing car on the top step of the podium.”

Belardi Auto Racing, has scored three podiums (2016, ‘17 and ‘18) and a win in 2016 with Zach Veach at Road America, while Telitz -- who raced in Indy Lights with Belardi in 2017 and ‘18 – won both Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires races at Road America in 2016 on his way to becoming the series champion.

104th Indy 500 logo captures race’s tradition, speed, excitement, innovation

104th Indy 500 logoThe logo for the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, unveiled Thursday, captures four essential elements – tradition, speed, excitement and innovation – of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” within the framework of the new logo system introduced last year.

Bold, dynamic colors and features form the core of the 2020 logo. At the heart of the design is a continuation of the type lock-up introduced with the unveiling in May 2018 of the logo for the 103rd running of the race.

The wordmark is athletic, prestigious and confident, and includes a rich red shield that contrasts with gold, the color of the iconic wing and wheel logo of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This lock-up creates a strong, consistent annual brand appearance for the event.

A new feature of this year’s logo is a checkered flag pattern that races upward and forward behind the shield, symbolizing the goal of every competitor in the race and the rich history of champions at IMS.

The 104th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 24, 2020. Fans are encouraged to renew or upgrade their tickets at ims.com/renew, by calling 317-492-8500 or by visiting the IMS ticket office. The renewal window will continue through June 17.

Honda Indy Toronto offering special ticket packages

The Honda Indy Toronto, the 11th race of the season on the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series schedule, is offering a pair of combo ticket packages with convenient benefits to get in on the festival action, July 12-14.

A last-minute gift for dad is the Father’s Day Pack available for a limited time through 9 p.m. ET Sunday. For $160, it includes two Saturday or Sunday Silver Grandstand tickets, two paddock passes, two slices of Pizza Pizza, two Coca-Cola beverages, plus a photo opportunity. All these benefits bundled together offer a $110 savings and will deliver lasting memories with dad this summer.

The easiest way to get to the Honda Indy Toronto is by GO Transit. GO Transit Combo Tickets are available for $45 for Saturday or Sunday and $70 for a two-day option that includes roundtrip GO Transit fare and event general admission. Children 12 and under receive free Honda Indy Toronto general admission with a ticketed adult and children can now ride the GO network for free. Visit hondaindy.com/promotions to learn more about the ticket packages.

Honda Fan Friday returns for the 10th year, offering general admission on July 12 courtesy of the Ontario Honda Dealers Association through a voluntary donation by fans to benefit Make-A-Wish Canada.

From the fans