Maldonado could have caused more damage – Di Resta

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Paul di Resta believes the crash Pastor Maldonado caused in Spa could have taken more cars out.

Maldonado was able to keep going but Di Resta was eliminated on the spot by the collision shortly after half-distance in the Belgian Grand Prix.

“In the process of taking me out, he probably could have taken another two cars out at the same time,” said Di Resta. Maldonado had just been passed by Esteban Gutierrez when he tried to turn into the pits, clipped Adrian Sutil’s car and then made heavier contact with Di Resta’s.

“He wasn’t going to make the pits, so I don’t know what he was planning to do or where he was going,” said Di Resta. “He made quite a mess of my car. He ripped the whole side out, from the radiator back. I’m surprised he carried on.”

Di Resta, who briefly held provisional pole position on Saturday before slipping to fifth place, said he would have scored points had he not been eliminated by Maldonado.

“Points were on the cards. I got off to a bad start, falling to eleventh at the first corner, but got back up to seventh.” It was Di Resta’s first retirement since the Malaysian Grand Prix.

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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