GP2/WSR 2014 Silly Season Updates

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We don’t spend a ton of time at MotorSportsTalk focusing on the GP2 Series and/or World Series by Renault, but considering they’re the two top feeder series into Formula One, we do want to recap who’s lining up where at this stage in the offseason before their 2014 seasons start.

Starting with GP2, some of the F1 aspirational names already confirmed for the 2014 season include McLaren reserve Stoffel Vandoorne and Caterham reserve Alexander Rossi. I spoke to Rossi about his hopes for this year at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, when he raced in the DeltaWing prototype.

“I think you always have a shot (to advance), but the best kind of B-plan option is GP2 for another year and I’m quite pleased with that,” said Rossi, who won his first GP2 race at Abu Dhabi in November. “With the same team, keeping the continuity is a positive thing. We have very high expectations for the next year.”

Here’s the quick rundown of confirmed team/driver combinations in GP2:

  • Carlin: 3-Julian Leal
  • DAMS: 7-Jolyon Palmer, 8-Stephane Richelmi
  • ART Grand Prix: 9-Stoffel Vandoorne, 10-Takuya Izawa
  • Hilmer Motorsport: 11-Daniel Abt
  • Rapax: 14-Simon Trummer
  • Arden International: 16-Rene Binder, 17-Andre Negrao
  • EQ8 Caterham Racing: 18-Rio Haryanto, 19-Alexander Rossi
  • MP Motorsport: 20-Daniel De Jong
  • Campos Racing: 26-Arthur Pic

Those seats not confirmed include both seats at Russian Time (Nos. 1, 2), Racing Engineering (Nos. 5, 6), Trident Racing (Nos. 22, 23), Venezuela GP Lazarus (Nos. 24, 25) and second seats at Carlin (No. 4), Hilmer (No. 12), Rapax (No. 15), MP (No. 21) and Campos (No. 27).

The 2013 champion, Fabio Leimer, does not have his plans set for 2014; series runner-up Sam Bird will run selected TUDOR United SportsCar Championship races with Starworks Motorsport in North America. The GP2 season begins April 5-6 at Bahrain.

Meanwhile in WSR, the series won by new McLaren recruit Kevin Magnussen last year, there’s still more seats to be filled before its first test Feb. 25-27 at Motorland Aragon. Confirmed team/driver combinations are below:

Teams (country): 


  • Arden Motorsport (GBR): William Buller, Pierre Gasly
  • DAMS (FRA): Norman Nato, Carlos Sainz Jr.
  • Fortec Motorsports (GBR): Oliver Rowland, Sergey Sirotkin
  • International Draco Racing (ITA): Pietro Fantin
  • ISR (CZE): Jazeman Jaafar
  • Lotus (CZE): Matthieu Vaxiviere
  • Strakka Racing (GBR): Will Stevens, Matias Laine

Teams still needing to confirm both seats are:  AV Formula (ESP), Carlin (GBR), Comtec Racing (GBR), Pons Racing (ESP), Tech 1 Racing (FRA) and Zeta Corse (ITA). Draco, ISR and Lotus still have to confirm their second seats. The WSR race season opens April 12-13 at Monza.

NHRA: Schumacher, C. Force, Kramer No. 1 qualifiers at Phoenix

NHRA
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NHRA press release

The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continued Saturday as Courtney Force set both ends of the Funny Car track record at the 34th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Deric Kramer (Pro Stock) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the second of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Force took over the top spot in the category with a record run of 3.826 seconds at 335.98 mph in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro during her second pass of the day. After recording seven No. 1 qualifiers in 2017, she is aiming for her first event victory since Houston 2016.

“That last pass today was pretty incredible, we have run well here in the past and I’m excited to be back in that top spot,” Force said. “We are hoping to turn this consistency into a win, we just have to keep being consistent on race day.”

Force is set to face off against Del Worsham in round one of eliminations on Sunday. Ron Capps sits second after a 3.844 at 330.80 in his Napa Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T during the final pass of qualifying on Saturday. The defending Funny Car champion Robert Hight qualified 11th after a 3.927 at 329.26.

Schumacher led the category with a run of 3.649 at 334.65 in his U.S. Army dragster posted during the first qualifying session on Friday. Schumacher also set the Top Fuel national speed record at 336.57 with a time of 3.667 seconds during his second pass on Friday. After securing four No. 1 qualifiers in the 2017 season, Schumacher locked in his first of the year in day two of qualifying.

“We earned our three points and kept the top spot so it’s been a great weekend for us so far,” Schumacher said. “The car continues to be great and [crew chief] Mike Neff is comfortable and knows what the car is doing, so I think tomorrow is going to be great day.”

He will go head-to-head against Greg Carrillo in round one of eliminations on Sunday. Steve Torrence qualified second after a 3.665 at 331.45 in his Capco Contractors dragster, while the defending world champion Brittany Force qualified in the 14th spot.

In Pro Stock, Kramer took over the top spot after driving to a 6.522 at 210.80 run in his American Ethanol Dodge Dart during the fourth qualifying session of the weekend. He secured the first No. 1 qualifying position of his career as Kramer also chases his first-ever victory in the class.

“It feels great to get that first No. 1 qualifier, and we had a great package put together this weekend and that was able to move us to the top,” Kramer said. “There were definitely some tuning adjustments from Pomona, but we went back to our old game plan with that KB power and it was a great combination.”

Kramer matches up against Alan Prusiensky in the first round of eliminations. Erica Enders is second in the qualifying order after a 6.527 at 209.98, while Alex Laughlin sits in the third spot.

Eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations.

TOP FUEL: 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.649 seconds, 336.57 mph vs. 16. Greg Carrillo, 4.227, 220.91; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.655, 331.85 vs. 15. Steven Chrisman, 4.089, 281.30; 3. Clay Millican, 3.664, 335.23 vs. 14. Brittany Force, 3.828, 253.52; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.679, 334.15 vs. 13. Troy Buff, 3.809, 318.77; 5. Richie Crampton, 3.683, 325.30 vs. 12. Scott Palmer, 3.788, 326.63; 6. Billy Torrence, 3.697, 331.45  vs. 11. Doug Kalitta, 3.742, 328.78; 7. Blake Alexander, 3.705, 332.59 vs. 10. Terry McMillen, 3.740, 325.85; 8. Antron Brown, 3.712, 333.66 vs. 9. Mike Salinas, 3.737, 326.32.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Kebin Kinsley, 5.118, 136.79; 18. Terry Totten, 8.158, 69.73; 19. Terry Haddock, 10.095, 91.23.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.826, 335.98 vs. 16. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 5.089, 173.99; 2. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.844, 330.80 vs. 15. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.551, 182.82; 3. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.845, 332.43 vs. 14. Richard Townsend, Camry, 4.244, 235.27; 4. John Force, Camaro, 3.864, 332.51 vs. 13. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 4.120, 307.79; 5. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.866, 317.27 vs. 12. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.971, 316.75; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.879, 329.91 vs. 11. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.927, 329.26; 7. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.888, 333.25 vs. 10. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.927, 329.42; 8. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.919, 324.20 vs. 9. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.926, 330.88.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Jim Campbell, 7.402, 91.58.

PRO STOCK: 1. Deric Kramer, Chevy Camaro, 6.522, 211.00 vs. 16. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.663, 207.94; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.527, 209.98 vs. 15. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.659, 208.55; 3. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.529, 209.59 vs. 14. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.640, 209.69; 4. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.530, 211.66 vs. 13. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.581, 209.82; 5. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.531, 211.03 vs. 12. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.567, 210.08; 6. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.532, 210.60 vs. 11. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.553, 210.14; 7. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.534, 211.63 vs. 10. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.550, 210.41; 8. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.542, 210.05 vs. 9. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.550, 211.39.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Joey Grose, 6.720, 206.64.