McLaren junior Magnussen crowned World Series by Renault champion

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Kevin Magnussen has won the World Series by Renault championship in Spain today as his bid to enter Formula One next season takes a big step forwards.

Son of former McLaren driver Jan, the Dane has performed admirably across the course of the season in a series that is widely regarded as being a direct feeder formula to F1 alongside GP2. Last year’s runner-up Jules Bianchi graduated to F1 this season, and has been the stand-out performer at the back of the grid following some impressive displays for Marussia.

Magnussen wrapped up the championship in style today at the Circuit de Catalunya, winning the race ahead of Will Stevens and fellow McLaren youngster Stoffel Vandoorne. As a result, he goes into the final round of the championship tomorrow with little to play for, although he will be aiming to add another win to his collection.

“It feels so special,” Magnussen said. “Nothing compares to this. I had to finish the job off and we did it together, with the whole team. It’s been a fantastic season and I love working with Dams.

“It might look like it’s all gone pretty smoothly but there have been ups and downs. It’s been very tough but I’ve achieved what I set out to do. I can’t wait for what lies ahead.”

McLaren are known to be interested in finding Magnussen a seat on the grid for 2014, with Marussia being the most likely destination. However, his plans for next year are yet to be confirmed.

Fellow competitors Antonio Felix da Costa and Sergey Sirotkin are both expected to graduate to F1 next season at Toro Rosso and Sauber respectively. Sirotkin’s arrival in the sport has come under scrutiny due to his relative inexperience, and he heads into the final round of the season tomorrow with just two podiums to his name.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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