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Briscoe stays in one place for all of next weekend: Toronto with Panther

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For the second weekend in a row, Ryan Briscoe will have two races. The difference is, this time they’ll be in the same car at the same track.

The Australian stays aboard the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ trip to the streets of Toronto this upcoming weekend, for the doubleheader Honda Indy Toronto.

He’s coming off a weekend where he won the P2 class in the American Le Mans Series in his Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-03b, then rose from 24th and last to 14th on Sunday in the Panther Chevrolet in Pocono. The P2 win was controversial after late race contact with another HPD, driven by Guy Cosmo of Extreme Speed Motorsports.

Panther Racing managing partner John Barnes confirmed the news via Twitter Monday morning.

Barnes likes Briscoe enough that it seems he’s working to keep him for as many races as possible, even despite the schedule conflicts with ALMS, and the fact Oriol Servia has also raced the No. 4 car and has no other conflicts.

Briscoe has racked up the frequent flier miles over the last two months. Starting May 11 in Monterey, he raced the Level 5 HPD there, then headed to Indianapolis to drive Chip Ganassi’s fourth car for the month of May.

In June, he made his Panther debut at Detroit, flew to Le Mans to test the Level 5 HPD, flew back to Milwaukee for Panther, flew back to Le Mans for the 24-hour race, then had an off weekend before resuming with the doubleheader across states and series this past weekend.

There are two more weekend conflicts the remainder of this season between IndyCar and ALMS. On October 5-6, IndyCar is in Houston while ALMS is at Virginia on the Saturday, and on Oct. 19, both have their season finales in Fontana (IndyCar) and Atlanta (ALMS). The Atlanta race starts earlier in the day.

Oh, and there’s also Baltimore Aug. 31-Sept. 1 when IndyCar and ALMS share the weekend, and Briscoe could hop between both cars. At this point, you can’t rule anything out about where and in what car he’ll be racing the rest of the year.

F1 2017 driver review: Carlos Sainz Jr.

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Carlos Sainz Jr.

Teams: Scuderia Toro Rosso (1-16), Renault (17-20)
Car No.: 33
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P4 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 54
Championship Position: 9th

Carlos Sainz Jr. has always been compared to Max Verstappen given their relative rise and stint together at Toro Rosso, but the Spaniard began to forge his own impressive path through 2017, securing himself a works drive with Renault in the process.

Alongside the struggling Daniil Kvyat for much of the season, Sainz led Toro Rosso’s charge, scoring 48 of its 53 points with a string of impressive drives. His headline moment came in Singapore when he matched Verstappen’s best result in Toro Rosso colors by finishing fourth, capitalizing on the start-line crash and the wet weather with a strong display.

Sainz’s displays led to a call from Renault, who announced just two days before his star display in Singapore he would be joining up for 2018 on loan from Red Bull. However, the deal was accelerated after a deal was brokered to secure Jolyon Palmer’s departure, allowing Sainz to join up from the United States GP onwards.

Sainz made an immediate impression, completing a perfect race en route to seventh on debut for Renault to secure six points that would prove crucial in the final constructors’ championship standings as the French team beat Toro Rosso to P6 in the standings at the last race of the year.

Red Bull retains an option on Sainz’s future beyond 2018, making him a candidate for a seat with its senior team should Daniel Ricciardo opt to leave. Failing that, Renault could offer Sainz the platform he needs to continue his rapid rise in F1 and establish himself at the front of the pack for many years to come.

Season High: Finishing fourth in Singapore after dodging the start-line drama.

Season Low: Crashing out in his final Toro Rosso appearance on the first lap at Suzuka.