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.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”