IndyCar’s Dragon Racing signs up for Formula E

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A second IZOD IndyCar Series squad will be expanding to the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship that is slated to begin next fall.

It was announced earlier today that Dragon Racing, which currently fields two IndyCar programs for four-time Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais and Colombian pilot Sebastian Saavedra, has joined the grid for Formula E’s inaugural season – joining fellow IndyCar outfit Andretti Autosport as well as UK-based Drayson Racing and China Racing.

“It’s an honor for Dragon Racing to have been selected as one of the founding teams in Formula E,” Dragon owner Jay Penske said in a statement.

“Formula E symbolizes a vision for the future of motorsports and the automotive industry, while directly appealing to a new generation of global race fans. Formula E offers a tremendous opportunity for our many technology and media partners, and we look forward to its inevitable growth and ascendancy over the next decade.”

In his own statement, Formula E Holdings CEO Alejandro Agag emphasized the series’ strengthening connection to America with US-based squads Andretti and Dragon both now in the mix.

“Today’s announcement also brings an L.A.-based team to the Championship. That has special significance as California has become the ‘land of electric cars’, an example that we want to spread to the rest of the world,” said Agag.

“With Dragon Racing lining up alongside fellow IndyCar giants Andretti Autosport, what’s apparent is the continued interest from the States Formula E is receiving from not only teams but also cities, with races taking place in Los Angeles and Miami.”

L.A. and Miami are part of a 10-city preliminary schedule for 2014-15 that also includes stops in London, Berlin, Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Beijing, Bangkok, and Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Agag said that a full roster of teams would be revealed by the end of November.

Toro Rosso at crossroads after Kvyat’s point, Hartley’s strong debut

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In a weekend with something to prove at Circuit of The Americas, Daniil Kvyat rose to the occasion with what he called “his best race of the season for sure” at the United States Grand Prix.

But it may not be enough for the Russian to have saved his seat at Scuderia Toro Rosso for the three final races this year.

Meanwhile, New Zealander Brendon Hartley capped off his roller-coaster debut weekend in Formula 1 with a solid 13th place finish after starting from the rear of the grid, learning as the race went on and bringing home his Toro Rosso chassis to the flag.

Toro Rosso faces a dilemma of three drivers available but only two seats to fill for the final three Grands Prix, with the Mexican Grand Prix coming up just next week.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly will be back after missing Austin due to his Super Formula commitments at Suzuka in Japan, but ultimately that went for naught as the races were canceled due to a typhoon.

Kvyat qualified 12th, was promoted to 11th by way of grid penalties and ended 10th, scoring a point for only the third race this year and first time since coming ninth in the Spanish Grand Prix back in May.

It was a weekend where he would have been expected to outdo Hartley, and did so, but not by a massive margin. And he was already coming in with a track time disadvantage, losing out in FP1 as Indonesian Formula 2 driver Sean Gelael ran in his chassis.

As it was, he rated his weekend performance highly and didn’t do his chances of staying in the car any harm.

Speaking to NBCSN after the race, Kvyat said, “Yeah, it was a perfect race. I did everything well. Brought the points home. It was close with (Felipe) Massa.

“We had some energy release issues on the engine. But it was a massive weekend. It was great. I really enjoyed myself. It was a good job by the team to keep it together with very limited running.

Hartley built up confidence throughout the weekend as he learned the car, the Pirelli tires and how an F1 race races versus an endurance race that he’d been used to doing for several years.

Having coming into the weekend with no expectations and just taking the race session-by-session, he felt good at the end of it.

“There’s so many little things to reflect on,” he told NBCSN. “I’ll put the eyes at rest and process it all. I did the standing start and it wasn’t the best… it’s been a long time.

“But yeah, (you’re learning) in terms of following in traffic, what 20 laps on these tires means, how much you can push it. I’m pretty satisfied. The pace was pretty strong. I made the mistake of getting passed by (Lance) Stroll. I couldn’t pass him back. Lots of challenges. I hope I can get another shot at it.

“Up until this moment… I didn’t want to know. I just wanted to do the job. I’m really relaxed. Now there might be some conversations.”

Toro Rosso figures to reveal its Mexican Grand Prix driver lineup early this week.