Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick starts athlete management firm, first client is UFC fighter

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Given his no-fear attitude on the racetrack and never backing down from a confrontation with another driver (remember Darlington in 2011, Kyle Busch?), it’s not surprising that NASCAR Sprint Cup star Kevin Harvick is also a mixed martial arts fan.

But what is surprising is that as Harvick prepares to move to Stewart-Haas Racing next season following a 13-year tenure at Richard Childress Racing, he’s once again diversifying into another area.

Harvick and wife DeLana owned the aptly-named Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), from 2002 through 2011, an operation that fielded cars in the Nationwide Series and Trucks in the Camping World series, including two Trucks series championships and a combined 53 wins in both the Trucks and Nationwide circuits.

And while the couple closed their racing operation at the end of the 2011 season, the KHI name remained, ready for the couple’s next business venture.

Thursday, that next venture was announced, as KHI is getting into the athlete management and representation field, according to KHI’s first client is UFC lightweight Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.

“It’s an honor and privilege to have this new relationship with Kevin and KHI,” Cerrone, currently ranked sixth in his division with a 20-5 record, told the web site. “I have learned a lot from Kevin and his management team over the last year and look forward to a long-lasting relationship both in and out of the Octagon.”

The new venture may also prompt Harvick to get into fighting shape himself, just in case he needs to do some scrapping on the racetrack, in the pits or the garage area: he recently worked out with UFC welterweight contender Johnny Hendricks, the web site reported.

“One of KHI’s strongest qualities always has been our ability to sell and maintain sponsorship in NASCAR despite the economic challenges,” Harvick said in a statement.  ”With that solid foundation and the template we’ve created over the last 10 years, I think we are ready to take the next step to represent other athletes in other arenas.  Donald is our first client in the UFC, and I’m excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead.”

Lotus prepared for close fight with Force India for P5

SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 26:  Romain Grosjean of France and Lotus drives during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on September 26, 2015 in Suzuka.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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Lotus technical director Nick Chester believes that the team faces a close fight with Force India for fifth place in the constructors’ championship that will rage on until the end of the 2015 Formula 1 season.

Lotus currently ranks sixth in the teams’ standings, 17 points behind Force India in fifth with five races remaining this year.

Finishing fifth in the constructors’ championship would not only secure some much-needed additional prize money for Lotus, but it would also secure it a place on the F1 Strategy Group for 2016 when it is poised to become Renault F1 Team.

Reflecting on last weekend’s race in Japan, Chester said he was pleased with the double-points finished achieved by Lotus drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean, and believes that the team can catch up in the coming weeks if Force India hits trouble.

“[Japan] was very rewarding and also very important for us in our fight for fifth place in the constructors’ championship,” Chester said. “We closed up a little bit more on Force India and of course there is a bit more to do.

“They had a good race in Monza when both our cars got knocked out but effectively we’re one good race away where they have a bad one and we can catch up. It will be tight all the way until the end of the season.

Looking ahead to the upcoming Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, Chester spoke of the challenge posed to both the teams and the drivers by the tight and twisting circuit around the site of the old winter Olympic park.

“We know that the surface is very smooth and last year we struggled generating temperature with the tires, partly through the smooth surface and partly through what was a conservative tire allocation,” Chester said.

“Pirelli’s softer allocation for this year along with the more weathered track surface and our better knowledge of the circuit should mean we fare far better in this regard. In terms of its needs, we know that it’s a track that is quite power and traction-sensitive.

“The layout presents a lot of slow speed corners and long straights. Braking down into turn 13 is very severe and you come out of the kink before you brake so it is a difficult corner to get right. Overall, the whole track is quite technical, so it certainly a challenging one for the drivers.”

Status targets 2016 GP2 title after GP3 exit

2015 GP2 Series Round 8.
Autodromo di Monza, Italy.
Sunday 6 September 2015.
Marlon Stockinger (PHL, Status Grand Prix) 
Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
ref: Digital Image _G7C2088
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Status Grand Prix has set its sights on winning the 2016 GP2 Series championship following its decision to close down its GP3 team at the end of the current season.

Earlier this week, GP3 issued a statement confirming its team roster for the next three seasons that featured new entries from DAMS and Virtuosi Racing.

However, both Carlin and Status did not appear on the list, signalling that both had opted to leave GP3 at the end of 2015.

Status first entered GP3 back in 2010, but only set up a GP2 team in 2015 after taking over the old Caterham Racing operation.

This will now become the main focus for the Irish outfit, though, as explained by team boss Teddy Yip Jr. earlier this week.

“Status Grand Prix has not renewed entry into the GP3 Series from 2016 onwards in order to maximize focus on our GP2 campaign,” Yip said.

“Having finished second in the team championship in the inaugural GP3 Series, we have enjoyed six successful years in the category collecting nine race wins, 26 podium finishes and vying for numerous team and driver titles.

“We are very proud to have given opportunities and achieved success with drivers such as Robert Wickens, Antonio Felix da Costa, Alexander Sims and our current GP2 race winner, Richie Stanaway.

“We now look forward to finishing the 2015 GP2 and GP3 seasons on a high before mounting a robust GP2 title campaign in 2016.”

Both GP2 and GP3 return from a one-month break next weekend in support of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix.