GP2 Series unveils 11-race season for 2014

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Formula One’s top developmental league, the GP2 Series, will embark on an 11-race schedule next season with new stops at Austria’s Red Bull Ring and Russia’s new street circuit at Sochi Olympic Park. All 11 events will be held as support races on Formula One Grand Prix weekends.

The season will unofficially begin in March with tests at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi (March 11-13, 2014) and the Bahrain International Circuit (March 19-21). The series will return to Bahrain to officially kick off its 2014 campaign on April 4-6, 2014.

“This is in order to keep down the costs, but also to test on F1 circuits where two events will take place, as well as enjoying great weather for testing,” GP2 CEO Bruno Michel explained in a statement. Michel also noted cost as a factor in keeping the schedule at 11 races, as it was this past year.

GP2 will make its first European stop at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya (May 9-11, 2014) and then head to Monaco two weeks after. Austria comes next in June, followed by three races in July at Great Britain’s Silverstone, Germany’s Hockenheim, and Hungary’s Hungaroring.

The series will then end its year with one race per month for the next four months: Spa-Francorchamps in August, Monza in September, the aforementioned Sochi in October, and the season finale at Yas Marina in November.

Malaysia and Singapore, which hosted GP2 events in 2012 and 2013, will not be on the 2014 schedule.

2014 GP2 Series Schedule

Testing
March 11-13 – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE
March 19-21 – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain

Championship
Apr. 4-6 – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain
May 9-11 – Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
May 22-24 – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco
June 20-22 – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria
July 4-6 – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, England
July 18-20 – Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany
July 25-27 – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary
Aug. 22-24 – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium
Sept. 5-7 – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy
Oct. 10-12 – Sochi International Street Circuit, Sochi, Russia
Nov. 21-23 – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.