Conor Daly confirmed for GP2 debut in Malaysia

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Conor Daly’s whirlwind offseason will include his debut in the GP2 Series this weekend in Malaysia. Daly will race with the new Hilmer Motorsport team, based out of Germany, which replaces the former Ocean Racing Technology squad on the grid.

Daly has raced in GP3 for the last two seasons. This winter he tested an IndyCar for A.J. Foyt Racing, raced in India in the MRF Championship Challenge, where he won the championship, and has tested in both GP3 and GP2.

Daly is one of several Americans closing on the doorstep to Formula 1. Alexander Rossi has been confirmed as reserve driver for Caterham F1, and Jake Rosenzweig has already been confirmed for the full GP2 season with the Barwa Addax Team.

Rosenzweig and Daly are the first Americans to race in GP2 since Scott Speed, who raced in the championship’s inaugural season of 2005. Speed is also the last American to have made it into F1, driving a year and a half with the Scuderia Toro Rosso team.

See also: American Daly to test GP2 car

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.