Indian GP promoters rubbish cancellation rumors

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The promoters of the Indian Grand Prix, Jaypee Sports International, have moved to silence rumors suggesting that the race could be dropped from the 2014 calendar.

Formula One is set to expand to 21 races for 2014, but many of the teams have suggested that a cap of 20 may be better for all involved with the sport. However, with attendance numbers failing to impress during the first two races at Buddh International Circuit, many believe that the race could be dropped, but a spokesperson for Jaypee Sports International suggested that these rumors were unsupported.

“Our agreement with Formula One Management is to hold F1 races at Buddh International Circuit (BIC) til 2015, and we are fully committed to do that,” JPSI told the New Indian Express.

“There is no reason for us to give up hosting F1 races. In fact, JPSI is keen to get some more international car and bike races to BIC, besides F1 and World Superbike Championship which will be held this year on November 17.

“We are fully committed to promoting motorsport in India in collaboration with local government and global and local motorsport organisations.”

The Indian Grand Prix debuted in 2011, and Buddh International Circuit is set to host its third grand prix at the end of October.

MRTI: Keith Donegan earns Mazda Shootout Scholarship

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”

The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.

“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”

Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.

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