VIDEO: World Series by Renault opener affected by huge crash

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The 2014 World Series by Renault season kicked off in Italy today at the historic Autodromo Nazionale Monza, with the series being acknowledged as one of Formula 1’s primary feeder series. All of the drivers lining up on the grid were keen on starting their years in style in the hopes of following in the footsteps of 2013 champion and McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen.

However, the year did not start as Marco Sørensen and Jazeman Jaafar (pictured) would have hoped. The two drivers were fighting for position down the main straight, but Sørensen – who is the leading light in Lotus F1 Team’s junior programme – seemed to misjudge where Jaafar was on track.

Sørensen began to squeeze Jaafar to the right hand side of the track, causing the two drivers to touch. The Lotus driver’s car flipped and collided into the pit wall with some force before travelling some distance on its side. The car eventually came to rest at pit exit. Jaafar went in the opposite direction and hit the wall with some force, albeit the right way up.

Remarkably, both drivers walked away unharmed despite this horror shunt. However, Sørensen was handed a five place grid penalty for causing the incident.

The race was won by Britain’s Will Stevens, who is a member of Caterham’s junior programme. Red Bull youngster Pierre Gasly finished third on his Formula Renault 3.5 debut, whilst Sauber’s Sergey Sirotkin finished in eighth place.

Power, Newgarden, Dixon fastest in first of 2 IndyCar practices today at Barber Motorsports Park

Photo: IndyCar
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Will Power was fastest in Friday’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in 1:07.5987 minutes at 122.488 mph in the 45-minute practice session.

Even though he spun off the course during his session, Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden still managed to be second-fastest (121.919 mph at 1:07.9141 minutes), followed by Scott Dixon (121.296 mph/1:082627), Max Chilton (121.251 mph/1:08.2882) and Ed Jones (121.215 mph/1:09.5692).

 

Sixth through 10th were Simon Pagenaud (121.208 mph/1:08.3122), Jordan King (121.113 mph/1:083661), Graham Rahal (121.059 mph/1:08.3964), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (121.029 mph/1:08.4131) and rookie Zach Veach (121.014 mph/1:08.4216).

Here’s the full speed chart:

Incidents:

* Early in the session, Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi ran off the track and into the grass, striking a small sign, but was able to get back on-track. However, Rossi was only able to complete 10 laps, relegating him to 20th-fastest in the 23-car field.

* Moments later, it appeared the rear brakes locked up on Newgarden heading into Turn 5, spinning him into the gravel trap. He was able to get going and returned to the pits for service and was back on-track with less than four minutes remaining in the session.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The second practice session of the day will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. A third practice will take part Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

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