Conor Daly ends season on podium, and third in GP3 standings

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Conor Daly, one of two current American Formula One hopefuls along with Alexander Rossi, ended his variety pack of 2013 series races on the podium in Abu Dhabi. His third place finish in Race 2 helped him secure third place in the season standings, behind series champion Daniil Kvyat and runner-up Facu Regalia.

Daly finished in the middle of the three ART Grand Prix drivers in the series this year, with Regalia second and Jack Harvey in fifth. Daly’s season featured a win at Valencia in June, and five other podium finishes.

This season, Daly has also made his Indianapolis 500 debut, raced a one-off Indy Lights race in Houston in October, a one-off GP2 race in Malaysia in March, and won the MRF Challenge Championship in India over the winter.

After three seasons in GP3, Daly is at a bit of a crossroads. Options include working to secure the budget to advance into GP2 or the World Series by Renault full-time in Europe, or a move back Stateside, permanently, to race full-time in IndyCar. Daly made the rounds at a handful of non-conflicting IndyCar weekends this year.

As Daly tweeted earlier Monday, finding funding for the two European open-wheel series is proving a challenge. He was not able to scrounge enough together for a single day’s worth of testing for GP2.

MRTI: pre-season testing Day 3 notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Day 3 of pre-season testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway saw the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda continue testing for the second day in a row, with each series completing three sessions on what was their final day of running.

Quick reports on both series are below.

Pro Mazda: Cunha Surges to the Front

While Saturday saw Pro Mazda newcomers like Oliver Askew, Parker Thompson, and Rinus VeeKey lead the way, Sunday saw a pair of second-year Pro Mazda drivers take their turns at the top of the speed charts. In the combined results, Juncos Racing’s Carlos Cunha turned the fastest lap of the final session, also good enough to be the outright fastest lap of the weekend, taking advantage of a fresh set of Cooper Tires to do so.

“I’m really happy, Juncos Racing is an amazing team,” Cunha said of the team’s performance. “On track, we are always improving, never going backwards and that’s very good. We have tested a lot but we still need to learn a lot about the car, though we are almost to a perfect setup. The team has given me everything I need to be comfortable inside the car, to know what the car needs, and to know what I need to be a better driver. We have time to improve and we are moving forward quickly.”

Fellow sophomore driver Sting Ray Robb, now with Team Pelfrey, was right behind Cunha in second.

Combined results across both Saturday and Sunday can be found here.

USF2000: Kirkwood, Cape Motorsports Stay On Top of Deep USF2000 Field

New Cape Motorsports driver Kyle Kirkwood, who topped Session 2 on Saturday, stayed on top of the combined speed charts across the weekend on the strength of his best lap from Session 3 of the weekend on Saturday.

Pabst Racing’s Rasmus Lindh was right behind Kirkwood, on the strength of his quick lap from Session 1.

However, Sunday’s running saw a different driver assert his authority, with Kaylen Frederick, Lindh’s teammate at Pabst, turning the fastest lap during the final session.

Frederick ended up fourth in the combined results, which can be viewed here.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires will take to the Homestead-Miami road course on Monday for the final day of testing for the Mazda Road to Indy.

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